Jake Rosenfeld

Associate Professor of Sociology

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Rosenfeld’s research and teaching focus on the political and economic determinants of inequality in the United States and other advanced democracies. His publications appear in a wide variety of scholarly journals, including the American Sociological Review and the American Journal of Sociology. The article co-authored with Meredith Kleykamp, “Organized Labor and Racial Wage Inequality in the United States,” won the 2013 award for distinguished scholarly article given by the Labor and Labor Movements section of the American Sociological Association.

Rosenfeld’s recent book, “What Unions No Longer Do” (Harvard University Press, 2014) shows in detail the consequences of labor’s decline: curtailed advocacy for better working conditions, weakened support for immigrants’ economic assimilation, and ineffectiveness in addressing wage stagnation among African-Americans. The book has received wide attention in the national press.

WashU in the News

State of the Unions

The New Yorker

Jake Rosenfeld, associate professor of sociology


The meaning of labor’s win in Missouri

The meaning of labor’s win in Missouri

The victory reveals growing recognition on the part of union and non-union workers of what a weakened labor movement leads to: lower wage growth, higher poverty, and, in general, a two-tiered economy decisively tilted toward the interests of the richest among us.
What Proposition A is really about

What Proposition A is really about

This week Missouri voters will have a chance to weigh in on an issue that has generated overheated rhetoric – and bundles of dollars – from both sides. Proposition A, the state’s “right to work” bill, is on the August ballot.
The Democrats: Unmoored, and unable to compete

The Democrats: Unmoored, and unable to compete

The Democratic establishment’s abandonment of organized labor represents one of the most bewildering strategic moves by a major political party in generations. Many have written of the economic consequences of labor’s decline. But the political consequences of the disassociation are far-reaching, ongoing, and grow direr every day as union memberships continue to disappear in formerly-Democratic strongholds.