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Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Unions and Collective Bargaining

Public Economics

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Workers’ Rights: Rethinking Protective Labor Legislation, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Workers’ Rights: Rethinking Protective Labor Legislation, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper focuses on a few directions in which protective labor legislation might be expanded in the United States over the next decade and the implications of expansion in each area for labor markets. Specifically, it addresses the areas of hours of work, unjust dismissal, comparable worth, and plant closings. In each case, the discussion stresses the need to be explicit about how private markets have failed, the need for empirical evidence to test such market failure claims, the need for economic analysis of potential unintended side effects of policy changes, and the existing empirical estimates of the likely magnitudes ...