Fall 2008 Colloquia

Monday, September 22, 2008 - 12pm

David Roland-Holst

Climate Action, Energy Efficiency, and Job Creation in California

David Roland-Holst, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley

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Monday, September 29, 2008 - 12pm

Lori Kletzer

Measuring the Task Content of Offshorable Services Jobs, Tradable Services and Job Loss

Lori Kletzer, Professor of Economics, UC Santa Cruz

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Lori G. Kletzer, is a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and is a professor of economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before joining UCSC, she was a faculty member at Williams College. She has also taught at the University of Washington and was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her research has been published in a number of professional journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and Industrial Relations. She is the author of Job Losses from Imports: Measuring the Costs (2001).

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Monday, October 13, 2008 - 12pm

John Schmitt

Some Lessons for the United States from Low-Wage Work in Europe

John Schmitt, Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, D.C.

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Monday, October 27, 2008 - 12pm

The Disposable Model of Labor Force Utilization in Italy

Bruno Contini, Professor of Econometrics and Director, Center for Employments Studies, University of Torino, Italy

This handout (not-yet-a- paper) explores the "disposable" pattern of workforce utilization in Italy, already well under way before the cyclical downturn of the early 90’s. Italy’s youth unemployment is still above 20% in spite very negative demographic trends (baby cohorts shrank from 900,000 during the baby boom to 500,000 nowadays), and several programs aimed at enhancing labor market entry since the mid Eighties. The modal age at entry hovers around 21, but the outflow of youth workers from employment exceeds the inflow within 3-4 years from entry. Out of 100 new entries in dependent work, only 75 are still at work 10 years after entry. This raises a big question. The unemployment inflow rate is about 5%. A number of young entrants end up in the black economy (by definition, unobservable, the order of magnitude estimated at 15-20% of the labor force). Some go back to school (but ought to reappear after few years), very few go in the army/police (unobserved in our data), 10% of the university graduates in professional independent activities (also unobserved). Where do all the others go ? We know that a bad start makes a large difference in future outcomes. For those who have had a continuous 12-month employment spell at entry, survival at work after 10 years is about 85%. For those – three times as many - who have started their career with one or more short employment spells (< 3 months), survival does not reach 60%. A similar exploration in Norway and Denmark indicates that the survival rate 10 years after entry is between 90 and 95% of the initial lot. Suggesting that the institutional setting explains such a huge difference may be true, but won’t tell what is behind the story. This exploration is a preliminary attempt in this direction. A first result – not yet an explanation – indicates that these numbers, at first sight dramatic, are (at least) consistent with an extended definition of unemployment. Which does not reduce the seriousness of the problem, and the difficulty of formulating policy recommendations.

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Monday, November 17, 2008 - 12pm

Irene Bloemraad

Do Immigrants Hurt Civic and Political Engagement? The Conditional Effects of Immigrant Diversity on Trust, Membership and Participation across 19 Countries, 1981 - 2000

Irene Bloemraad, Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley

Irene Bloemraad’s recent research (with Christel Kesler, University of Oxford) is an attempt to qualify recent assertions that increasing diversity is detrimental to a vibrant civil society. Based on their analyses of a cross-national, cross-sectional time-series dataset that brings together individual-level World Values Survey data with country-level variables, they show that immigration-generated diversity can have a negative effect on trust, organizational membership and political engagement across advanced democracies, but that institutional arrangements – related to economic systems, corporatist state/society relations and policies for multiculturalism - shape this relationship in systematic ways and, in some cases, can reverse it entirely. They conclude that there is no "general" link between diversity and social capital. Rather, the direction and strength of the relationship depends entirely on how institutions and policies shape the context for trust and engagement.

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Monday, December 8, 2008 - 12pm

Heather Haveman

Structure at Work: Organizational Identities and the Division of Labor in U.S. Wineries

Heather Haveman, Professor of Sociology & Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

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All events are located at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA.

TO ATTEND AN EVENT, PLEASE R.S.V.P. Myra Armstrong, zulu2@berkeley.edu