“The Major Interdisciplinary Journal in the Field of Employment and Labor Relations”

-Daniel J.B. Mitchell

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Forthcoming Issue

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January 2016

Volume 55, Issue 1


Experience with Company Unions and their Treatment under the Wagner Act: A Four Frames of Reference Analysis

This paper reexamines American experience with company unions (aka nonunion employee representation plans) before they were banned by the Wagner Act (1935). For the next half-century, labor historians and industrial relations scholars painted a bleak portrait of company unions as anti-union sham organizations. Since the 1980s, additional research has documented a more positive side; similarly, concern has grown that the Wagner Act's ban is stifling legitimate employee participation programs. This paper brings new theoretical and empirical evidence to both historical and legal parts of this debate. Innovations include: Examination of company unions through individualist, unitarist, pluralist, and radical frames; demonstration that the pluralists' view of company unions was more diverse and positive than conventionally portrayed; presentation of considerable new historical evidence and testimony on the company union experience; and a substantially revisionist assessment of the merits of the Wagner Act's ban. In particular, the conclusion is that, given any reasonable weighting of the four frames, the company union ban is overly restrictive and should be modified so companies can implement the positive side of nonunion employee committees but not the negative.

Individual Wage Growth: The Role of Industry Experience

This paper focuses on the effect of experience within an industry on wages. I use a correlated random effects simultaneous equation model that allows individual and match heterogeneity to affect wages, job tenure and industry experience. I estimate my model separately for men and women using a large panel of young Italian workers for the years 1986-2004. Results show that wage returns to industry experience are much higher than wage returns to job seniority. The hypotheses of exogeneity of job seniority and industry experience in the wage equation are rejected: high-wage workers and high-wage matches last longer.

Occupational Stereotypes and Gender-Specific Job Satisfaction

Using representative data containing information on job satisfaction and worker's gender-specific prejudices, we investigate the relationship between stereotyping and job satisfaction. We show that women in stereotypically male jobs are significantly less satisfied with their work climate and job contents than in stereotypically female jobs but more satisfied with their income in those same jobs. Our findings indicate that women trade-off their higher income satisfaction against the negative consequences of stereotyping. As long as we take into account that stereotypically male jobs are physically more demanding than stereotypically female jobs, men are generally more satisfied with stereotypically male jobs.

Job Lock: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design

Employer-provided health insurance may restrict job mobility, resulting in "job lock." Previous research on job lock finds mixed results using several methodologies. We take a new approach to examine job-lock by exploiting the discontinuity created at age 65 through the qualification for Medicare. Using a novel procedure for identifying age in months from matched monthly CPS data and a relatively unexplored administration measure of job mobility, we compare job mobility among male workers in the months just prior to turning age 65 to job mobility in the months just after turning age 65. We find no evidence that job mobility increases at the age 65 threshold when Medicare eligibility starts. We also do not find evidence that other factors such as retirement, reduction in hours worked, social security eligibility, pension eligibility, and sample changes confound the results on job mobility in the month individuals turn 65.

Does Leaving School in an Economic Downturn Persistently affect Body Weight? Evidence from Panel Data

In this study I test whether leaving school when the state unemployment rate is high persistently affects body weight. Because the time and location of school-leaving are potentially endogenous, I predict the economic conditions at school-leaving with instruments based on birth date and residence at age 14. My findings show that by age 40 men (women) who left school when the state unemployment rate was high have lower (higher) body weight.

The Structure of the Permanent Job Wage Premium: Evidence from Europe

Using individual longitudinal European Community Household Panel data for thirteen countries during 1995-2001 and fixed effects models, I find for men, the permanent job wage premium is higher for younger workers and those who were noncitizens or foreignborn; for women, the premium is higher for young workers, short tenure workers, and those who were noncitizens or foreignborn. Thus the gain to permanent employment is higher for those with less experience in the domestic labor market.