December 05/January 06 (No. 11)
Contributors: Elizabeth del Rocío Camacho, Janice Kimball
IIR News & Events
Carol Zabin Wins the LERA Susan C. Eaton Award
IIR Faculty Seminar: Alex Mas, December 5, 2005
New IIR Working Papers
IIR Unit News
Labor Center News
California Public Employee Relations News
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment News
Institute of Industrial Relations Library: Services during Renovation
Labor Project for Working Families
Economics Department Seminars
Haas School of Business: OBIR Seminar
Sociology Department Colloquium Series
IIR NEWS & EVENTS
Carol Zabin Wins the LERA Susan C. Eaton Award
Carol Zabin was selected as a co-winner for the LERA Susan C. Eaton Scholar-Practitioner Research Project Award for 2005. The Center for Labor Research and Education will receive a monetary award to support her research and a plaque that will be presented to her at the LERA annual meeting in Boston this January. Her research will document new labor and consumer strategies to create "better jobs and better care" through unionization in home and community-based long-term care, human services, and early childhood education. Through case studies, interviews and literature review, her analysis will focus on the interrelationship between unionization strategies, the industry structure and political contexts in which the campaigns occur, and the outcomes for workers and consumers.
IIR Faculty Seminar: December 5, 2005
Professor, Economic Analysis and Policy Group, Haas School of Business
INFANT MORTALITY AFTER WELFARE REFORM
Noon, IIR Directors Lounge
2521 Channing Way
RSVP: Myra Armstrong, 643-3012, email@example.com
New IIR Working Papers
Cynthia Bansak and Steven Raphael
"The State Health Insurance Program and Job Mobility: Identifying Job Lock among Working Parents in Near-Poor Households.”
We use the introduction of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to assess whether the job mobility and wages of near-poor parents are suppressed through job lock. We exploit differential take up rates among eligible households and stratify adults in these household in to quasi-experimental treatment and control groups. Using data from the 1996 and 2001 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we first identify working adults whose children meet the SCHIP eligibility criteria. We then separate these workers into two groups: those with employed spouses who have employer provided coverage in their own names and those who do not. For the former group, the introduction of SCHIP is unlikely to relieve job lock since they already had a viable alternative source of coverage. For the latter group, however, SCHIP provides an alternative source of coverage where one previously did not exist. We find a large significant increase in public coverage rates among the children of adults who do not have independently insured spouses (on the order of 10 percentage points). There is no such increase among adults with insured spouses. Corresponding to these differential take up rates are differences in the change in job mobility. Among workers without insured spouses, we observe a 6 percent point increase in the likelihood that the worker separates from their current employer within one year after SCHIP is implemented. We see no comparable change in mobility among those with insured spouses. This relative pattern survives regression adjustment for observable demographic characteristics, the household’s position in the income distribution and a host of other controls. Finally, we find no effect of the increased mobility on relative wages.
Arindrajit Dube, Barry Eidlin, and Bill Lester
"Impact of Wal-Mart Growth on Earnings throughout the Retail Sector in Urban and Rural Counties"
Using a database of Wal-Mart store openings (from Emek Basker), and the county level Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, we estimate the effect of Wal-Mart on earnings of retail workers during the 1990’s economic expansion (1992-2000). We exploit the pattern of Wal-Mart expansion (expanding outward from Arkansas over time) to predict Wal-Mart store openings, allowing us to control for endogeneity using both instrumental variable and control function approaches. We find that in urban counties, a Wal-Mart store opening led to a 0.5% to 0.8% reduction in average earnings of workers in the general merchandise sector, and a 0.8% to 0.9% reduction in average earnings of workers in the grocery sector. This translated into a combined 1.3% reduction in total earnings (wage bill) of workers in these sectors. Endogeneity causes the OLS estimates to be biased downwards in magnitude, primarily from an omitted variables bias. No earnings impact was found for rest of the retail sectors or for restaurants (the latter being an auxiliary test of our identification strategy). In contrast, in non-MSA (i.e., rural) counties, a Wal-Mart store opening was associated with an increase in earnings of general merchandise workers, and a decrease in earnings of grocery workers, but no significant change in the wage bill. We estimate that in 2000, total earnings of retail workers nationwide was reduced by $4.7 billion due to Wal-Mart’s presence.
"Firm Heterogeneity in Capital labor Ratios and Wage Inequality"
This paper documents the increasing dispersion of capital-labor ratios across firms in the US and provides some empirical evidence of a positive correlation at the two-digit industry level between the dispersion of capital-labor ratios across firms and residual wage inequality. To explain this empirical fact, the paper adopts a search model where firms differ in their optimal capital investment. The exogenous decline in the relative price of equipment capital makes the distributions of capital-labor ratios more dispersed. In a frictional labor market, this force generates wage dispersion among identical workers. OLS estimates of the relationship between capital dispersion and the relative price of equipment capital support the main hypothesis of the model.
"Democratization Within Democracy: Authoritarianism and Passive Democratization in Spain and Italy.”
What is the connection between civic associationism and political participation? Recent work in the neo-Tocquevillian traditions suggest that civic associationism encourages political participation. In contrast more conservative readings of Tocqueville, and Gramsci's analysis of civil society, suggest that civic associations tend to undermine, rather than promote political participation. Indeed this is one of the major reasons that Tocqueville saw civic associations as important guarantors of liberty. We investigate these competing arguments by analyzing the connection between authoritarian regime type and political participation in Italy and Spain. The Italian fascist regime sought to eliminate civic associations of all types, incorporating them systematically into the party. The Franco regime, in contrast, had no such ambitions, and left a relationship between civic associationism and political participation causally, because the "treatment" is prior to the outcome, and as we will show is connectted to it through historically specifiable mechanisms. We find, quite paradoxically from the perspective of the neo-Tocquevillians, that Italian facism tended to promote political participation by establishing a pattern of political behavior in which parties subordinated and instrumentalized civic associations. Spanish authoritarianism, with its more laissez faire orientation to civil society, left a legacy of deep political apathy. Paradoxically, from the perspective of the neo-Tocquevillians, the more 'totalitarian' fascist regime, produced a more 'participatory' liberal democracy, than the 'less totalitarian' Franco dictatorship.