Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science - American Politics

Research Sponsor

Dr. Ron Gelleny

First Reader

Dr. Phil Marcin

Second Reader

Dr. Terrence O'Sullivan


This study utilizes a multi-method research approach in order to explore the connections between union membership, laissez-faire economic policy, and income inequality in the United States. The findings suggest that declining rates of trade union density are found to be correlated with an increase in levels of income and economic inequality. Further, the implementation of laissez-faire policy and neoliberalism was found to play a role in creating conditions that exacerbate income inequality and the resulting political instability.