January 2007

IZA DP No. 2546: A Post-Deregulation Analysis of Wages in U.S. Freight Transportation

Steffen Habermalz, Kristen Monaco

published in: International Journal of Transport Economics, 34 (1), 2007

After a period of regulatory changes in the early 1980s we are faced with “new” freight transportation labor markets in the U.S. Using data from the 1984-1999 Current Population Survey, we examine trends in the wages of workers within freight transportation, with a focus on wage differentials across industries and occupations. Our aim is to provide stylized facts. We find that real wages in rail, truck, and water transport declined over most of the period and have rebounded since 1996. Within industries we find considerable persistence in wage differentials between and within a majority of occupations. We also find evidence of increased competition in a subset of labor markets.