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Full-Text Articles in Labor Relations

The Effect Of Tax Limitation Legislation On Public Sector Labor Markets: A Comment, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jun 2013

The Effect Of Tax Limitation Legislation On Public Sector Labor Markets: A Comment, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] This brief comment presents my views about the current relative economic status of state and local government employees and the growth of collective bargaining and influence of unions in the public sector. With these remarks as background, I then discuss the likely effects of tax limitation legislation on public sector labor markets.


Estimating Wage-Fringe Trade-Offs: Some Data Problems, Robert Smith, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

Estimating Wage-Fringe Trade-Offs: Some Data Problems, Robert Smith, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] This paper represents an inquiry into some of the data related difficulties inherent in estimating wage-fringe trade-offs, and it explores the usefulness of a particular source of data in meeting these difficulties.


Public Sector Labor Markets, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Joshua L. Schwarz Aug 2012

Public Sector Labor Markets, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Joshua L. Schwarz

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper provides a critical survey of the literature dealing with public sector labor markets. It discusses the research by economists on wage determination in the state and local sector (including the effects of. unions), on the estimation of compensating wage differentials for pecuniary and nonpecuniary job characteristics, on the effects of unions on productivity, on the estimation of public sector demand and for labor functions, on dispute resolution, on public/private pay differentials, and on gender and race discrimination in the public sector. Numerous suggestions for future research are offered.


The Effect Of Unions On Productivity In The Public Sector: The Case Of Municipal Libraries, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Joshua L. Schwarz Aug 2012

The Effect Of Unions On Productivity In The Public Sector: The Case Of Municipal Libraries, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Joshua L. Schwarz

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] This paper represents our initial efforts at analyzing the effects of unions on productivity in the public sector. We first sketch an analytical framework that can be used to estimate these effects, focusing for expository purposes on municipal public libraries. We initially focus on libraries because considerable effort has been devoted to conceptualizing productivity measures for them and because of the availability of data to implement the framework. After discussing the analytical framework, we present preliminary estimtes of the effects of unions on productivity in public libraries based upon analyses of data from 71 municipal libraries in Massachusetts. We ...


Comparable Worth In The Public Sector, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Robert Smith Aug 2012

Comparable Worth In The Public Sector, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Robert Smith

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] At the theoretical level, we conclude that the case for comparable worth rests on the argument that the current distribution of female employees is based on discriminatory barriers which existing legislation have not broken down. If this argument is valid, the desirability of comparable worth depends upon one's perceptions of how the benefits it provides contrasts with the efficiency losses it induces. Given the trade-offs involved, ultimately one's position on comparable worth must depend on value judgments.


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 ...


Retirement System Characteristics And Compensating Wage Differentials In The Public Sector, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jul 2012

Retirement System Characteristics And Compensating Wage Differentials In The Public Sector, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper presents evidence that a trade-off exists between wages and certain characteristics of retirement systems in the public sector. Cross-section econometric estimates for uniformed municipal employees, based upon data from two national surveys of municipalities, suggest that, other things equal, an increase in the contribution made by uniformed employees to their retirement system leads to a compensating increase in their salaries, while retirement systems with more "generous" characteristics are associated to some extent with lower salaries. The estimates also indicate that the extent of retirement system underfunding is related to employers' and employees' perceptions of the probability that promised ...


Estimating The Narcotic Effect Of Public Sector Impasse Procedures, Richard J. Butler, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jul 2012

Estimating The Narcotic Effect Of Public Sector Impasse Procedures, Richard J. Butler, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper first describes in a relatively nontechnical fashion several econometric techniques that the authors believe should be useful to industrial relations researchers. Those techniques are then applied to an analysis of whether public sector impasse procedures create a "narcotic effect," that is, a tendency for the bargaining parties, once they use the procedures, to become increasingly reliant on them in future negotiations. The authors reanalyze data from Thomas Kochan and Joan Baderschneider’s study of the impasse experience of police and firefighters under New York State’s Taylor Law during the 1968-76 period and find that while a narcotic ...


Municipal Government Structure, Unionization, And The Wages Of Fire Fighters, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jul 2012

Municipal Government Structure, Unionization, And The Wages Of Fire Fighters, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Also important to any analysis of labor costs in the public sector today is, of course, the effect of collective bargaining on wages. For reasons described in a recent article by Orley Ashenfelter, fire fighters provide an excellent test of union wage effects at the city level. This study will therefore use fire fighters as an example with which to assess and compare the effects on wages of both unionism and the structure of municipal government. This article is in many respects an extension of the excellent study by Asehenfelter, who examined the effect of the International Association of ...


Unions And Productivity In The Public Sector: A Study Of Municipal Libraries, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Daniel R. Sherman, Joshua L. Schwarz Jul 2012

Unions And Productivity In The Public Sector: A Study Of Municipal Libraries, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Daniel R. Sherman, Joshua L. Schwarz

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper develops and illustrates the use of two methodologies to analyze the effect of unions on productivity in the public sector. Although the methodologies are applicable to a wide variety of public sector functions, the focus of the paper is on municipal libraries because of the availability of relevant data. The empirical analysis, which uses 1977 cross-section data on 260 libraries, suggests that collective bargaining coverage has not significantly affected productivity in municipal libraries.