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Full-Text Articles in Labor Relations

Editor’S Introduction To The Review Symposium On The Book Myth And Measurement: The New Economics Of The Minimum Wage, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jun 2013

Editor’S Introduction To The Review Symposium On The Book Myth And Measurement: The New Economics Of The Minimum Wage, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Why has Myth and Measurement engendered so much controversy? In part, because it deals with the minimum wage. The minimum wage was the first piece of protective labor legislation adopted at the national level, and proposals to increase the minimum wage invariably lead to heated debate between labor and business interests. When a book co-authored by the then chief economist in the Clinton Labor Department purports to show that, contrary to received wisdom, minimum wage increases do not appear to have any diverse effects on employment, it is predictable that conservative critics will attack its findings.


Generation X: Redefining The Norms Of The Academy, Ronald Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Generation X: Redefining The Norms Of The Academy, Ronald Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The members of Generation X are the young faculty members of today and the immediate future. The panelists at this session of the conference were asked to discuss the effects of this generation on academic norms and institutional governance and the types of new models that may be emerging for academia as a result of them. More specifically, they were asked if the attitudes and loyalties of these young faculty members really do differ from that of the Baby Boom Generation, how their attitudes and behavior affect graduate programs, what academic institutions will need to do to attract the ...


Prospects In The Academic Labor Market For Economists, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

Prospects In The Academic Labor Market For Economists, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] American colleges and universities are increasingly substituting nontenure track full-time and part-time faculty for full-time tenured and tenure track faculty. Moreover, institutions of public higher education, where almost two-thirds of the full-time faculty members at four-year institutions are employed, are under severe financial pressure. The share of state budgets devoted to public higher education is declining. The salaries of economics department faculty members at public higher education institutions have fallen substantially relative to the salaries of their counterparts at private higher education institutions, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the publics to compete for top faculty in economics ...


The Social Security Student Benefit Program And Family Decisions, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

The Social Security Student Benefit Program And Family Decisions, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

In 1965 Congress established the Social Security Student Benefit Program which provided benefits for children of deceased, disabled or retired workers, who were enrolled in college full—time and were not married, up until the semester they turned age 22. The program grew to be a major financial aid program; at its peak in FY 81 it represented about 20% of all federal outlays on student assistance for higher education. The program was terminated for students newly entering college as of May 1, 1982. Somewhat surprisingly, in contrast to the debate that accompanies most social programs, debate over the student ...


The Changing Distributions Of New Ph.D. Economists And Their Employment: Implications For The Future, Ronald Ehrenberg Aug 2012

The Changing Distributions Of New Ph.D. Economists And Their Employment: Implications For The Future, Ronald Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Academic careers are no longer the be-all and end-all for economics Ph.D. students, and the findings and background provided by Siegfried and Stock help to explain why this is so. The median age at which individuals receive economics Ph.D.'s in the Siegfried and Stock sample is 32. While they are somewhat surprised at this finding, it parallels the experiences of many other fields. Increasingly, students are working before proceeding to doctoral studies. Often Ph.D. students in economics enter their programs after having spent several years working for government agencies or research consulting companies—work that ...


Retirement Policies, Employment, And Unemployment, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

Retirement Policies, Employment, And Unemployment, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] There is a growing consensus among economists that reliance on aggregate demand policies alone will not be sufficient to move the economy to full employment with a nonaccelerating inflation rate, and that policies which alter the structure of labor markets will be required. While obvious structural policies such as public sector employment programs and training programs are the focus of current debate, many other public policies affect labor markets in subtle ways which may well adversely affect the level and distribution of employment and unemployment. To help improve the inflation-unemployment tradeoff, policymakers should seek to marginally modify these policies ...


The Impact Of Retirement Policies On Employment And Unemployment, Ronald Ehrenberg Aug 2012

The Impact Of Retirement Policies On Employment And Unemployment, Ronald Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] This paper has focused on the impact of retirement policies on the level and distribution of employment and unemployment. All of the policies discussed, except for early retirement provisions in privately negotiated collective bargaining contracts were seen to have adverse effects on the level and distribution of employment. Hence, the paper illustrates the more general point that policies designed to promote one social goal may well detract from achieving other goals and suggests that more explicit attention should be given to the employment effects of social programs and legislation prior to their adoption.


[Review Of The Book Discrimination In Labor Markets], Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

[Review Of The Book Discrimination In Labor Markets], Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] In sum, I consider Discrimination in Labor Markets a fine volume. Anyone who has the slightest interest in the analysis of labor-market discrimination should seriously contemplate purchasing it. The relatively nontechnical nature of the papers will appeal to a wide range of readers, and the book should quickly find its way onto reading lists for undergraduate and graduate courses that discuss the economics of discrimination.


The Demand For State And Local Government Employees, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jul 2012

The Demand For State And Local Government Employees, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The primary purpose of this paper is to present empirical estimates of the wage elasticities of demand for different categories of state and local government employees. The employment demand equations that are estimated are derived from a utility maximization model of state and local government behavior. After presenting this model in the first section, we next briefly discuss the data used in the study. The structural system of demand equations is then estimated using pooled time-series and cross-section information, with annual individual state data as the units of observation. A number of alternative estimation methods are used in the ...


Absenteeism And The Overtime Decision, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jul 2012

Absenteeism And The Overtime Decision, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Upon reading the congressional hearing on the Overtime Pay Penalty Act of 1964, one cannot fail to be impressed by the emphasis that management places on absenteeism as a primary cause of overtime. The argument given is basically quite simple: Large firms, it is claimed, attempt to account for absenteeism by hiring standby workers; however because of the stochastic nature of the absentee rate, it is impossible for them to have replacements always available. Hence overtime must be worked by existing employees in order to meet production schedules. One concludes from this argument that the randomness of absenteeism is ...


The Impact Of The Overtime Premium On Employment And Hours In U.S. Industry, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jul 2012

The Impact Of The Overtime Premium On Employment And Hours In U.S. Industry, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] This paper presents empirical estimates of the intra-industry cross-section relationship between annual overtime hours per man and the ratio of these quasi-fixed costs to the overtime wage rate. Estimates are also made of the impact of a change in the overtime premium on employment and hours; these estimates have implications for policymakers concerned with the wisdom of increasing the overtime premium as a method of job creation.