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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Drs. Arthur Sakamoto and ChangHwan Kim Winners of Outstanding Article Award

Posted: September 22, 2011

Dr. Arthur Sakamoto and Dr. ChangHwan Kim won the 2011 Outstanding Article Award from the Inequality, Poverty and Mobility Section of the American Sociological Association. The article, "Is Rising Earnings Inequality Associated with Increased Exploitation? Evidence for Manufacturing Industries in the US, 1971-1996," was published in Sociological Perspectives in 2010 (53:19-43). 

Abstract: Is the trend towards rising earnings inequality associated with increased exploitation? The authors investigate exploitation among workers using data for manufacturing industries. Defined as the underpayment of earnings relative to productivity as evaluated in the market, exploitation is measured for various groups of employees. The results indicate significant levels of exploitation among women, Hispanics, African Americans, and blue-collar workers. By contrast, employees who are overpaid relative to their productivities include middle-aged workers, older workers, and managers. Additional findings suggest that the increase in inequality in recent years has been associated with heightened exploitation due to the underpayment of workers in the lowest two quintiles of the earnings distribution, while workers in the upper two quintiles have become increasingly overpaid. Rising earnings inequality in the manufacturing sector thus appears to be associated with increased exploitation when the latter is measured as the underpayment of market value to workers. A related analysis by Liu, Sakamoto, and Su also investigates patterns of economic underpayment and overpayment but does not link them explicitly to inequality in the distribution of earnings and how the level of inequality has been increasing in recent years.

Congratulations to Drs. Sakamoto and Kim on this honor.

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