September 2012 (No. 59)

Editor: Terence K. Huwe
Contributors: Marcy Whitebook, Stefanie Kalmin, Janice Kimball, Jenifer MacGillvary, Netsy Firestein, Dick Walker

In This Issue:

Especially Recommended:

Mark Your Calendars: IRLE Fall Reception, September 27, 2012

IRLE Colloquium Series

Monday, September 17 | 12pm-1pm
Cultural Effects on Employee Loyalty in Japan and the U. S.: Individual- or Organization-Level?
James Lincoln, Professor, Haas School of Business

Monday, September 24 | 12pm-1pm
Did the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act Reduce the State’s Unauthorized Immigrant Population
Steve Raphael, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley


IRLE News and Events
Mark Your Calendars: IRLE Fall Reception, September 27, 2012
IRLE Sponsors Summer Conference:  “When Mandates Work”
IRLE Colloquium Series, Fall 2012
Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society
Recent Working Papers
Visiting Scholars
IRLE in the News

IRLE Program News
The Labor Center
California Public Employee Relations
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library
The Labor Project for Working Families

Campus News and Events
UC Berkeley Events


IRLE News and Events

Mark Your Calendars: IRLE Fall Reception, September 27, 2012

IRLE Director Michael Reich invites you to meet with the IRLE Community at a reception which will introduce new employees, graduate students and visiting scholars

Thursday, September, 27, 2012

4:30 – 6:00 PM

IRLE Large Conference Room

Rsvp By September 14 To Myra Armstrong,


IRLE Sponsors Summer Conference:  “When Mandates Work”

On July 31, 2012 IRLE Director Michael Reich convened a conference to discuss the many aspects of government-mandated programs. The participants are collaborating on a book that will be published by the University of California Press. The forthcoming book will encompass many topics, which include living wages, health care, equal rights for domestic partners, employee benefits and community development projects.  The table of contents and authors of the forthcoming book follow below.

Title: When Mandates Work: Improving Living Standards while Maintaining Jobs

Ken Jacobs and Michael Reich, editors

In progress, University of California Press

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Introduction: When Mandates Work
Ken Jacobs, Chair, UC Berkeley Labor Center
Michael Reich, UC Berkeley Professor of Economics and IRLE Director

Part I: The Pay Mandates


Chapter 2

Living Wages at San Francisco Airport
Peter Hall, Simon Fraser University
Ken Jacobs, UC Berkeley Labor Center
Michael Reich, UC Berkeley Professor of Economics and IRLE Director


Chapter 3

Living Wages and Homecare Workers
Candace Howes, Connecticut College

Chapter 4

The City-Wide Minimum Wage
Arindrajit Dube, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Suresh Naidu, Columbia University
Michael Reich, UC Berkeley Professor of Economics and IRLE Director


Part II: The Benefit Mandates

Chapter 5

Equal Benefits for Domestic Partners
Christy Mallory, UCLA School of Law
Brad Sears, UCLA School of Law


Chapter 6

Employer-paid Health Benefits
Carrie Colla, Dartmouth University
William Dow, UC Berkeley School of Public Health
Arindrajit Dube, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Chapter 7

Universal Paid Sick Leave
Vicky Lovell, California Budget Project
Kevin Miller, Institute for Women’s Policy Research


Part III: Making Mandates Work

Chapter 8

Compliance and Enforcement
Miranda Dietz, UC Berkeley Labor Center
Donna Levitt, Office of Labor Standards, City of San Francisco


Chapter 9

Labor Policy and Urban Economic Development
Miriam Wells, UC Davis

Chapter 10

Labor-Community Alliances and the Politics of Living Wages
William Lester, University of North Carolina

Chapter 11 Community Benefits Agreements and Accountable Development
Ken Jacobs, Chair, UC Berkeley Labor Center


IRLE Colloquium Series, Fall 2012

IRLE is pleased to announce the preliminary schedule for the Fall Colloquium Series. Series details are still being finalized and will be added to this page as they are received.

All events are located at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA. A light lunch will be served.

To attend an event:Please RSVP to Myra Armstrong,

Monday, September 17 | 12pm-1pm
Cultural Effects on Employee Loyalty in Japan and the U. S.: Individual- or Organization-Level?
James Lincoln, Professor, Haas School of Business

This paper uses 1980’s survey data on large samples of American and Japanese factories and their employees to examine how organization (factory) cultures then differed between Japan and the U. S. and how they affected employee loyalty – intention to leave or stay. Central to the analysis is the idea (originating with Durkheim, Blau, and othes) that cultural effects operate both at the individual–level through the values, beliefs, and norms employees accept and “internalize” and at the group– (or organization–) level through the mechanism of social pressure aimed at inducing conformity. Consistent with Benedict’s classic attribution of a “shame” culture to Japan and “guilt” culture to the U. S., I predict and find that workplace culture indicators tapping preferences for paternalism/familism and working in groups condition employee loyalty chiefly at the organization–level in Japan and chiefly at the individual–level in the U. S.

Monday, September 24 | 12pm-1pm
Did the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act Reduce the State’s Unauthorized Immigrant Population
Steve Raphael, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

We test for an effect of Arizona’s 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on the proportion of the state population characterized as non-citizen Hispanic.  We use the synthetic control method to select a group of states against which the population trends of Arizona can be compared.  We document a notable and statistically significant reduction in the proportion of the Arizona population that is Hispanic noncitizen.  The decline observed for Arizona matches the timing of LAWA’s implementation, deviates from the time series for the chosen synthetic control group, and stands out relative to the distribution of placebo estimates for the remainder of states in the nation.  Furthermore, we do not observe similar declines for Hispanic naturalized citizens, a group not targeted by the legislation. Our results on LAWA’s impact on the housing market provide further support for our findings.

Monday, October 1 | 12pm – 1pm
Specialization in the German Automobile Industry?  A Roll-Backto Rigid Organizations?
Renate Neubaumer, Institute for Social Sciences, Universität Koblenz-Landau, Germany

Monday, October 8 | 12pm – 1pm
Impacts of Unionization on Employment, Product Quality and Productivity
Aaron Sojourner, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

This paper studies the effects of unions in private-sector nursing homes on a broad range of labor, firm, and consumer outcomes. We link national data on nursing home characteristics from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to records on establishment-level unionization from federal labor agencies, and employ a regression discontinuity design to identify union effects by contrasting outcomes in nursing homes where unions closely won representation elections to outcomes in facilities where unions closely lost such elections. After showing that these two sets of homes are similar leading up to the election, we estimate union effects on staffing levels, care quality, and other outcomes. We find negative effects of unions on staffing levels and no decline in care quality, suggesting positive productivity effects. Consistent with these results, supplementary analysis shows significant increases in wages for some classes of nursing labor. Some evidence suggests that nursing homes in local product markets that were less competitive and had lower union density at the time of election experienced stronger union employment effects. We find no impact of unionization on facility survival. By combining credible identification of union effects, a comprehensive set of outcomes over time with measures of market-level characteristics, this study generates some of the best evidence available on many controversial questions in the economics of unions. Furthermore, it generates evidence from the service sector, which has grown in importance and where evidence on these questions has been thin.

Monday, October 15 | 12pm – 1pm
Immigration and Redistributive Social Policy:  Disenfranchisement, Threat or Fractionalization?
Irene Bloemraad, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

In this paper, we examine whether two seemingly separate phenomena-rising immigration and changing social redistribution-might be causally related.  We analyze empirical trends across U.S. states over time.  Do states with more immigration provide fewer resources to low income residents than states with less immigration?  Have states that experienced larger increases in their immigrant population been more likely to cut or reduce social spending than states with smaller increases in the proportion of immigrants?  Our empirical results underscore the enduring significance of racial dynamics in understanding patterns of social spending in the United States. But they also reveal some surprising findings regarding the influence of immigration on redistribution.

Monday,October 22| 12pm – 1pm
Do Blacks Help Less?
Sandra Susan Smith, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
Coauthor, Kara Alexis Young

Monday,November 19| 12pm – 1pm
Increases in Earnings Dispersion Across Establishments and Individuals in the U.S.
Richard Freeman, Economics, Harvard University


Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society

Volume 51, No 4 of the journal will appear in October 2012.  The journal is available online from the Wiley Online Library (subscription required):

Abstracts for the forthcoming issue follow below

Steve RaphaelEmployer-Sponsored Training and Longer-Tenured Workers: Evidence from Australia

I estimate the incidence and intensity of training with particular emphasis on where along the tenure-training profile formal training occurs.  Using data from the Survey of Education and Training gathered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, I find a different relationship between training and tenure than is suggested by human capital models. Instead of training being concentrated toward the beginning of the employment relationship, it tends to be evenly distributed along the tenure profile. Such findings are more consistent with theories of wage compression and strategic complementarity than traditional human capital approaches.

Access to and Utilization of Flexible Work Options

Many workers do not utilize the flexible work options to which they have access; nor do they necessarily have access to all options officially provided by their organizations. This study sheds light on these gaps using probit models with sample selection to predict access to and utilization of 14 flexible options. The findings highlight the roles of supervisor support, occupation, and work-life culture. The influence of each of these factors on access and utilization differs.

Multiple Glass Ceilings

The unexplained part of the wage gap grows across job levels and across the deciles of the intra-job-level wage distribution. This implies that women face many glass ceilings, one for each job level above the second, and that the glass ceiling is a pervasive phenomenon. In the Netherlands it affects about 88% of jobs, and 81% of Dutch women in employment work in job levels where a glass ceiling is present.

Immigration and Informal Labor

We develop state-level proxies for informal employment using differences between measures of self-reported employment and officially sanctioned employment. In construction and landscaping, industries associated with under-the-table labor, we develop proxies for informal work based on productivity per officially sanctioned worker. We relate each set of proxies for informal employment to changes in immigrant population and composition. We find some evidence that immigration is associated with informal employment generally and in the construction industry when prevailing wages are low. States with high concentrations of low-skilled male immigrants have higher levels of informal employment in the landscaping industry.

What Makes Workers Happy? Anticipated Rewards and Job Satisfaction

Using data collected from over 9,400 employees in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Serbia, across a wide variety of workplaces and sectors, we identify the extrinsic and intrinsic rewards that workers desire, and expectations of receiving these rewards. We use ordered probit regression analysis to evaluate the association between anticipated rewards and job satisfaction, hypothesizing that reward desirability matters most for extrinsic rewards linked to numeric values. Data strongly support our hypothesis in the case of expected job security; limited support is found in the case of expected promotion. For non-numeric extrinsic and intrinsic rewards, a strong positive link between job satisfaction and the reward variables often is observed, even if the expected reward is not highly desired. While own earnings typically are positively linked to job satisfaction, peers' earnings may be positively (Kazakhstan, Armenia, Russia) or negatively (Krygyzstan, Serbia) linked to job satisfaction, but not always statistically significant.

Decomposing the Sources of Earnings Inequality: Assessing the Role of Reallocation

This paper exploits longitudinal employer-employee matched data from the U.S. Census Bureau to investigate the contribution of worker and firm reallocation to changes in earnings inequality within and across industries between 1992 and2003. We find that factors that cannot be measured using standard cross-sectional data, including the entry and exit of firms and the sorting of workers across firms, are important sources of changes in earnings distributions over time. Our results also suggest that the dynamics driving changes in earnings inequality are heterogeneous across industries.

The Effect of Prevailing Wage Regulations on Contractor Bid Participation and Behavior:  A Comparison of Palo Alto, California with Four Nearby Prevailing Wage Municipalities

This bid sample for municipal projects from the heavily unionized California Bay Area during an upswing in the business cycle shows that the presence of prevailing wage regulations did not decrease the number of bidders nor alter the bidding behavior of contractors relative to the engineer's estimate of the value of the project. Furthermore, the presence of prevailing wage regulations did not discourage the participation of nonunion contractors nor reduce their chances of winning work.

The Effect of Ability on Young Men's Self-Employment Decision: Evidence from the NELS

Using the National Educational Longitudinal Study data, we examine the role of pre-market abilities on young men's self-employment decision. Our results indicate that cognitive and noncognitive abilities are two important, in opposing directions, predictors of self-employment. We also find that cognitive and noncognitive abilities may differ in their malleability with the latter being more malleable during adolescence.


Recent Working Papers

Working papers may be downloaded from the eScholarship Repository, or from the IRLE Web at the following addresses:


Charlan Nemeth:
“The Psychological Basis of Quality Decision Making”
Working Paper No. 128-12

Alexander O'Connor, Charlan Nemeth and Satoshi Akutsu:
“Consequences of Beliefs about the Malleability of Creativity”
Working Paper No. 127-12

Jessica Kennedy and Laura Kray:
“Who is Willing to Sacrifice Sacred Values for Money and Social Status? Gender Differences in Reactions to Taboo Trade-offs”
Working Paper No. 124-12

Ming Leung:
“Job Categories and Geographic Identity: A Category Stereotype Explanation for Occupational Agglomeration”
Working Paper No. 126-12

Kate Belohlav and Clair Brown:
“ReadyMade Analysis of Berkeley Scholars to Cal Program”
Working Paper No. 123-12

Ming Leung:
“Apples to Oranges: How Category Overlap Facilitates Commensuration in an Online Market Environment”
Working Paper No. 125-12


IRLE Visiting Scholars, 2012-2013

IRLE welcomes new and continuing scholars, who join the IRLE community under its Visiting Scholar and Postdoctoral Appointment Program. A list of the 2012-13 scholars follows below, along with a brief description of their research interest and their UC Berkeley faculty sponsor.

Yukiko Asai – Japan

Yukiko Asai is a PhD Candidate in Economics at Keio University, Tokyo. She will be continuing her research on childbearing and its relation to labor supply and labor market outcomes. She will be at IRLE from September, 2011 through September, 2012 and will be sponsored by David Card.

Gerhard Bosch – Germany

Gerhard Bosch is a Professor, Sociology Department, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.  He will continue his research on employment effects of minimum wages and compare it with recent U.S. studies.  He will be at the IRLE from January, 2013 to March 30, 2013. He is sponsored by Michael Reich.

Arindrajit Dube – USA

Arindrajit Dube is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Amherst University, MA. His research is with the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics (CWED). He is sponsored by Michael Reich and will be here from January 2010 through June 2013.

Ellen Friedman – USA

Ellen Friedman is a Visiting Scholar working with Katie Quan, CLRE, at Sun Yat-sen Univeristy in Guangzhou this fall, at the International Center for Joint Labor Research. Ms. Friedman has been a key partner in efforts to build academic linkages between labor scholars in China and the US.  She will be here from October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2013.

Anna Godoey – Norway

Anna Godoey is a PhD candidate at the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Oslo. Her research interests include empirical labor economics and the economics of social insurance arrangements. She is sponsored by David Card and will be at the IRLE from August 2012 through December 2012.

Murat G. Kirdar – Turkey

Murat G. Kirdar is an Assistant Professor at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey. He will be continuing his research on labor market policies, migration and employment outcomes. He will be at the IRLE from August 25, 2011 through September , 2012. His latest publication is: “Labor Market Outcomes, Savings Accumulation and Return Migration”, Labour Economics (2009).

Toshiro Kita – Japan

Toshiro Kita is a Professor at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. His research focuses on Human Resources and Organization Management for Sustainable Innovation in Japanese and US High-Tech Companies. He will be at the IRLE from April 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. He will be sponsored by Prof. James R. Lincoln.

John Logan – USA

John Logan is currently the Director and Professor of Labor and Employment Studies at San Francisco State University. He is also the Senior Research Associate at UC Berkeley Labor Center.  One of his research projects: an analysis of federal and state legislation affecting organizing and bargaining rights and unions ability to participate in politics.  He will be at IRLE from October 3, 2012 through October 3, 2013. He is sponsored by Ken Jacobs.

Renate Neubaumer – Germany

Renate Neubaumber is a Professor of Economic and Economic Policy at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany. Her research interests are in the fields of empirical labor economics and economic of education. She is sponsored by Michael Reich and will be at IRLE from October 2012 through March 2013.

Philippe Pochet –Belgium

Philippe Pochet is the current Director of European Trade Union Institute, and is a foremost expert on the European Social Union.  Professor Pochet will continue his research for a book on Social Europe. He will be here from September, 2013 to June, 2014.  He is sponsored by Michael Reich.

Lauro Ramos – Brazil

Lauro Ramos is a Research Economist at IPEA and Editor of the Journal “Mercado de Trabalho – Conjuntura e Analise” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His research is with the Center for Equitable Growth at the IRLE and focuses on inequality. He will be at the IRLE from February of 2012 through February of 2013 and will be mentored by Emmanual Saez. 

Paul Ryan – United Kingdom

Paul Ryan is a Life Fellow, at King’s College in Cambridge. His research focuses on investigating the situation of doctoral students who are employed by American universities to provide teaching, research or administrative services. He will be at the IRLE from February 2013 through June 2013 and is sponsored by Michael Reich.  

Andreas Steinhauer - Switzerland

Andreas Steinhauer is a PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He is currently working on the effects of parental leave regulations on female labor market outcomes and a project concerned with the relationship between cultural norms and values and mothers' labor supply. He will be at IRLE from August, 2012 through January, 2013 and is sponsored by David Card.

Alex Whalley  – USA

Alexander Whalley is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, Merced.  His is currently working on a project examining the long-term effects of university research on local economic growth, and another project on whether the national origins of the first settlers of the Mid-West explain local economic performance today.  He will be at IRLE from September 2012 until December 2012, and is sponsored by Enrico Moretti.

Michael Zibrowius – Germany

Michael Zibrowius is a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. His research is centered around the economics of migration and employment outcomes. He will be at the IRLE from August 2012 through December 2012 and will be sponsored by David Card.


IRLE in the News

Main URL:

“Where are the 'job creators'? A Labor Day conversation”
 UC Berkeley NewsCenter, August 30, 2012

“Time to Raise the Minimum Wage”
 Economic Policy Institute, July 23, 2012

“Vacation Sabotage: Don't Let It Happen to You!”
 San Francisco Chronicle, June 29, 2012

“Solar Power Generating Social Change”
 New York Times, June 29, 2012



The Labor Center

New Reports

Can a Publicly Sponsored Retirement Plan for Private Sector Workers Guarantee Benefits at No Risk to the State?
August 2012, by David M. Stubbs and Nari Rhee

The California legislature is currently considering SB 1234, a bill that would create the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust–a state-sponsored retirement plan for private sector workers who lack access to a workplace plan.  Assets would be managed in a pooled fund and workers would be guaranteed a rate of return on their contributions, insured by private underwriters rather than the state.  This policy brief broadly assesses the feasibility of such a plan by analyzing the private cost of guarantees, probable investment returns simulated through a hypothetical pension investment portfolio, and the long-term funded status of a hypothetical pension plan given conservative assumptions.


Nine Out of Ten Non-Elderly Californians Will Be Insured When the Affordable Care Act is Fully Implemented
June 2012, by Ken Jacobs, Greg Watson, Gerald F. Kominski, Dylan H. Roby, Dave Graham-Squire, Christina M. Kinane, Daphna Gans, and Jack Needleman for the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

This joint publication found, using the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model, that an estimated 2.9 to 3.7 million Californians will be newly covered through Medi-Cal or receive subsidized coverage in the Exchange. Others will gain access to coverage through new prohibitions on insurers denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. As a result, nine out of ten Californians under age 65 will have coverage when the ACA is fully implemented.

Accompanying Fact Sheets

Accompanying Chart Pack

6.3 Million Private Sector Workers in California Lack Access to a Retirement Plan on the Job
June 2012 by Nari Rhee

This research brief finds that after more than a decade of declining access to employer-sponsored retirement plans in the private sector, millions of working Californians lack this critical pillar of retirement security. Given stark disparities in access by earnings, firm size, and race, most of these workers are low- to middle-wage, employees of small businesses, and Latinos. The brief also outlines the potential advantages of a publicly sponsored retirement plan for closing the private sector pension gap and helping low- and middle-income workers build adequate and secure retirement incomes.


Laying the Foundation for Health Care Reform: Local Initiatives to Integrate the Health Care Safety Net
May 2012, by Annette Gardner, PhD, MPH. A report of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, and the Center for Labor Research and Education, University of California, Berkeley.

This study examined the opportunities under the ACA to coordinate care among health care providers and transform local safety nets into seamless systems of care. The study examined safety net integration activities in five California counties–Contra Costa, Humboldt, San Diego, San Joaquin, and San Mateo. This report describes the factors that affect the ability of a local safety net system to develop integrated delivery systems. It also discusses lessons learned from the implementation of 30 safety net integration "best practices" that can be applied to other counties.


Health Insurance Reforms: How Will They Affect Employment-Based Coverage in California?
April 2012, by Jon Gabel, Ryan Lore, Roland McDevitt, and Jeremy Pickreign. A report of NORC at the University of Chicago, Towers Watson, and the Center for Labor Research and Education, University of California, Berkeley.

This issue brief examined how insurance reforms required by the Affordable Care Act will affect benefit packages currently offered by California employers and estimated out-of-pocket expenses and actuarial values for households with employment-based health plans in California in 2010.


Monthly Black Worker Report
Steven Pitts continues to produce his monthly Data Brief: Black Employment and Unemployment.

Past Events

Summer Institute on Union Women: Campaign School for the Next Generation
From July 23-27 the Labor Center hosted the 2012 Summer Institute on Union Women, held at Sonoma State University. Over 200 participants and 50 instructors were at the Campaign School for the Next Generation. There were classes in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Participants came from as far away as British Columbia and Turkey, and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis sent a video greeting

Labor and Globalization Conference
On July 21-22, 2012, we co-sponsored the Labor and Globalization Conference at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. Katie Quan presented on collective bargaining in non-traditional sectors in the U.S..

Trainings for labor inspectors
The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement funded the Labor Center to train field inspectors on techniques for interviewing workers.  This contract was carried out in June in collaboration with the Worker Rights Consortium, a DC-based organization that monitors labor standards in factories that produce university licensed apparel.

Collective Bargaining Training for Union Leaders in China
On May 29, Katie Quan led a popular education training on collective bargaining with 37 grassroots union leaders of the Guangzhou Federation of Trade Unions.  The main focus of the meeting was mobilizing rank and file support for collective bargaining at the table.


Health Care:
California Lawmakers Consider New Low Income Health Program,  Capital Public Radio, August 15, 2012
The Steelworker's Wife—and What Might Have Been, The New Republic, August 9, 2012
California health care exchange prepares for 2014 launch, The Sacramento Bee, July 17, 2012
Reform law’s effect on employer health insurance a looming concern, San Jose Mercury News, June 30, 2012
A good day for America, Ken Jacobs, The Berkeley Blog, June 28, 2012
Health care safety net at turning point, The Sacramento Bee, June 24 2012

Retirement Security:
Foes assail state bill to start low-income workers' retirement plan, Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2012
The Very Public Private-Sector Retirement Problem, Governing, June 28, 2012
Communities of color will feel brunt of impact from pension 'reform', Capitol Weekly, June 25, 2012
The Great Retirement Squeeze—Pension Cuts Mean Poverty for Future Elders, New America Media, June 13, 2012
Mutual fund industry defends 401(k) plans, Los Angeles Times, June 7, 2012
Study: Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans Declining, Capital Public Radio, June 7, 2012
Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans Declining, KPBS, June 7, 2012
The Retirement Crisis Facing Blacks and Latinos, Next Avenue, May 7, 2012

Black Workers:
In Dismal Jobs Report, Unemployment Rate of Minority Workers Rises, Los Angeles Times, June 1, 2012
Government Job Cuts Threaten Black Middle Class, NPR, May 9, 2012
More Blacks in Management Would Be a True Robinson Tribute, New York Times, April 16, 2012

With nods to Occupy Wall Street, economic inequality teach-in generates light, not heat, UC Berkeley NewsCenter, April 5, 2012
UC Berkeley Labor Center teach-in focuses on economic inequality, The Daily Californian, April 4, 2012

Save Mart bargaining likely to resume after contract rejection, Sacramento Bee, August 10, 2012
Save Mart's resolution of contract could force Raley's, Safeway to do same, The Modesto Bee, July 11, 2012
Impact of 1982 NY garment workers’ strike assessed, China Daily, July 1, 2012
Massive anti-Walmart march and rally planned today at Chinatown site,, June 30, 2012
Union Leader, Raley's Negotiator Face Off in Grocery Labor Drama, The Sacramento Bee, June 24 2012
What Makes It ‘evil’, The Somerville News, June 22, 2012
Move over, Wisconsin – the union battle is beginning in California, The Sacramento Bee, June 10, 2012
Is The Private Sector Really Doing Fine?, ABC News, June 8, 2012
Unions falter in fighting benefit cuts, The Sacramento Bee, May 4, 2012
Union prepares for possible strike against West Sacramento-based Raley's supermarket chain, The Sacramento Bee, May 1, 2012
Raley's labor talks falter; strike is a possibility, The Modesto Bee, May 1, 2012
How to Close the Gender Wage Gap in Just Seven Easy* Steps, The Nation, April 17, 2012

Other News

Calculator: How Much Will a Family Save Under the New Federal Health Law?
We have updated our interactive calculator that estimates how much individuals and families will spend on premiums and maximum out-of-pocket costs for an Exchange health plan under the law and upgraded it from an Excel-based to a web-based tool.

Labor Enforcement Task Force
Katie Quan has been appointed to the California Department of Industrial Relations Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) Advisory Committee. LETF “combats the underground economy in California to create an environment where legitimate businesses can thrive.”

Nari Rhee
The Labor Center’s renowned retirement security expert Nari Rhee is moving on to a new job. We wish her all the best, and expect to continue hearing about her fine work in the years ahead.


California Public Employee Relations

CPER Online Journal

The staff is working on CPER Journal online, No. 207 (September 2012). One feature article in this issue covers a panel discussion at a recent meeting of the Labor and Employee Relations Association of Northern California, where three arbitrators discussed the effects of newly passed legislation, AB 646. The bill requires parties governed by the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) (local government and special districts) to use factfinding to resolve bargaining impasses if requested by the employee organization. While some local governments and labor organizations have experience with binding interest arbitration, few have been involved in a non-binding factfinding process like that now mandated by AB 646.

Factfinding for school and community college districts and universities has been funded by the Public Employment Relations Board, which simply lacks sufficient resources to compensate the neutral factfinders. This amendment requires parties governed by the MMBA to pay those fees and expenses.

While the panelists did not discuss the issue of access to factfinding at the meeting, the requirement that the local governmental entity and the labor organization must pay could be problematic for small jurisdictions. Certainly, both parties will have to budget for this cost and, perhaps, additional costs for expert witnesses. On one hand, in the case of small jurisdictions, this could effectively preclude access to factfinding. On the other hand, if the factfinding is successful, the parties may save monies that might be expended if the bargaining dispute continued to fester for months.

Future articles include the argument against a trend among California community college districts of declaring their campuses non-public forums to curb free-speech actions.

To subscribe to CPER’s quarterly journal or see a sample issue, go to

CPER Pocket Guide Series

CPER recently published a new pocket guide, the 21st title in our series covering labor relations laws in both public and private sectors:

Pocket Guide to Public Sector Mediation in California, by Gerald Fecher, a mediator with the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service (SMCS).

Mediation continues to be a successful method for resolving labor disputes for public sector employees in California. This pocket guide discusses the various aspects of the mediation process as it applies to public agencies and employees throughout the state. The process differs among public employees depending on the governing statute. The guide outlines those differences and explains how the process typically works.

Written for both the beginning practitioner and the seasoned professional, the guide covers the types of mediation and how they operate under the different statutes, levels of involvement, and the importance of confidentiality. It includes the relevant statutory language of each act, cases, selected references, and a glossary of terms.

All guides can be ordered at the CPER website,, where tables of contents for all guides appear.


Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation to conduct the Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory (HEI), developed by CSCCE, in California. CSCCE’s HEI is designed to assess the capacity and effectiveness of two- and four-year public and private institutions of higher education in a state and can be used by policymakers to develop a more coordinated and comprehensive professional development system for the early care and education workforce.

In addition, CSCCE is pleased to announce the launch of two new projects. The first project will be done in collaboration with First 5 Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP). CSCCE will assist First 5 LA and LAUP to understand the barriers that community college students in child development face when pursuing a degree; the institutional supports that students perceive as helpful in completing their degree or successfully transferring to 4-year colleges or universities; and the strategies that successful students use to enable their degree completion or transfer to a 4-year college or university. CSCCE will make recommendations as to how student services and supports may be improved within the community colleges to enable higher rates of student success.

The second project, Access to Quality Early Learning Project –is a project for the Child Development Division (CDD) of the California Department of Education. In California, many at-risk preschool-age children receiving subsidized child care services could benefit from, but do not participate in organized, high quality preschool school or school-readiness experiences. This project seeks to gain understanding of the parental decision-making processes in selecting child care arrangements for preschoolers and of license-exempt providers’ perspectives on the school readiness needs of preschoolers in their care and the obstacles and pathways to facilitating children’s participation in high quality group experiences. CSCCE will develop recommendations for regulatory and statutory policies, consumer education, and provider training and support that promote greater participation of at-risk children in high quality child care and school readiness activities.


Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics

CWED Co-Chair Sylvia Allegretto spoke at the Teamsters National Women’s Conference, which was held on August 25, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The presentation was titled ‘The Wrecking Ball Economy” and documented the trends in increasing inequality and the power held by the wealthy in the U.S. and how these factors have affected work for women and their families.

Additional Presentations:

Presented at Green For All, an Oakland based group advocating for a clean energy economy, August 22, 2012
Title:  “The American Dream: The Fraying of the Folklore”

International Conference of Teamsters Lawyers, August 20, 2012, San Francisco
Topic:  The Unraveling of the American Dream

Community Forum (sponsored by California Assembly Member Nancy Skinner)

Faith Presbyterian Church, Oakland, August 9, 2012.
Title: California Dreamin’...about California’s economic we got here and what to do about it.”

Laborers’ International Union of North America’s Public Employee Conference, Chicago, July 31, 2012.
  “The Truth about Public Sector Workers.” The presentation assessed the housing bubble and the great recession as the cause of state budget problems.

Upcoming Presentations

Co-Chair Allegretto has been invited to speak at a conference in Italy, titled “Productivity, Investment in Human Capital and the Challenge of Youth Employment: Comparing Developments and Global Responses.” The event will be held October 16-19, at the University of Bergamo, Bergamo Italy. She will also present a lecture to the PhD economics students on effects of the U.S. minimum wages on teenage employment.


Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library

Library Vertical Files See Summer Use   

The Library started collecting ephemeral information resources in the 1940s, and over time the vertical files they have filled have become a useful source of information on labor issues. The files are now closed to new entries and are housed in the basement of the IRLE. A significant percentage–but not all–of the materials were digitized and now are available online in the California and West Coast Industrial Relations digital collection at . However, on three occasions during the past summer out of town scholars sought access to the files to trace labor events of the mid-century era. Library Operations Manager Janice Kimball oversaw access to the files and helped the scholars. Although they are not immediately accessible, the files remain a useful resource to the IRLE and compass communities as well as to visitors from farther afield.

Course Reserves: The Fall “Run” Begins

The Library’s book collection continues to be a class reserve “resource of last resort” for many instructors, who seek titles that have gone missing elsewhere. During the spring 2012 term the Library held 25 titles in reserve, and we are already on track to match that number during fall 2012.

Twitter and Facebook: IRLE Has Followers

The Library maintains Facebook and Twitter pages both for IRLE and for the Library, and both have gained a following. For the IRLE page, we list our official events, such as colloquia, news of publications and more; for the Library we tweet general news about labor resources. Upwards of 55 peer institutions are currently following us on Facebook or Twitter, which demonstrates that these services open new avenues for new and outreach.

IRLE Librarian Appointed Wiley Publishing Advisory Board

Wiley Publishing has invited IRLE Librarian to serve on their North American Customer Advisory Board, which carries a two year term. This group provides important strategic advice about the direction Wiley should in order to continue to meet the broad needs of the scholarly community in general and libraries in particular. The Advisory Board has operated for a number of years serves as a crossroads where important issues can be discussed. These include the digital transformation, open scholarship, discoverability, enhanced content, pricing and packaging, editorial direction, customer service, new product developments, and the evolution of libraries.  Participation includes an annual meeting in New York as well as ongoing dialogue via the Web.


In addition to producing a monthly column in Computers in Libraries magazine on the topic of building digital libraries, IRLE Librarian Terry Huwe was invited to publish at feature article for the East Bay Rental Housing Association. The title of the article is “Neighborhoods and Numbers:  The East Bay Rental Market Groups Up.” The article was published in August in Rental Housing magazine, and covered demographic and economic trends that are rapidly transforming the rental housing marketplace in Alameda and Contra Costa County.


Labor Project for Working Families

New Fact Sheets on Bargaining for Work Family Benefits

The Labor Project for Working Families has developed a series of new “Unions Win It” fact sheets on bargaining for work family benefits like Child Care, Family Leave, Worker-Controlled Flexibility, Low-wage Worker Benefits, and Paid Sick Days. Download the fact sheets from the Labor Project’s website and stay tuned for more fact sheets to be released in the coming months.



Center for Latin American Studies

Series: Inequality: A Dialogue for the Americas
September 11, 2012
Booth Auditorium, Berkeley Law School
"Inequality in the Americas"
Ricardo Lagos and Robert Reich


Economics Department

Economics 211, Economic History Seminar
597 Evans Hall

September 10, 2012
"American Incomes 1774-1860"
 Peter Lindert, University of California, Davis

Economics 237, Macro Economics Workshop
597 Evans Hall

September 25, 2012 (Economics 281 Seminar)
''Home Production, Labor Wedges and International Real Business Cycles.''
Loukas Karabarbounis, Chicago Booth

Economics 251, Labor Economics Seminar
648 Evans Hall

September 20, 2012
"Teacher Experience and the Class Size Effect - Experimental Evidence"
Steffen Mueller, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

September 27, 2012
“Bombs, Brains, and Science – The Role of Human and Physical Capital for the Creation of Scientific Knowledge"
Fabian Waldinger, University of Warwick

Economics 271, Planning and Development Seminar
648 Evans Hall

September 10, 2012
"Learning about Comparative Advantage in Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Thailand."
Anant Nyshadham, University of Southern California

September 17, 2012
"Credit Constraints and the Racial Gap in Post-Secondary Education in South Africa"
David Lam, University of Michigan

September 13-14, 2012
All-California Labor Economics Conference
San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank

Innovation Seminar (PHDBA 279I)
September 19, 2012
“Good Firms, Worker Flows and Productivity”
Michel Serafinelli, UC Berkeley Economics


Institute of Governmental Studies

September 21, 2012
8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
2150 Allston Way, Berkeley
David Brower Center, Tamalpais Room
California's Fiscal Crisis: Prospects for Pension Reform and Deficit Reduction in the Golden State

Colloquium on Immigration, Race & Ethnicity
119 Moses Hall , "Harris Room"

September 14, 2012
"The Weight of Uncertainty: Immigration Policies and Emotions"
Leisy Abrego, Chicana/o Studies, Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies University of California, Los Angeles

September 28, 2012
"The Politics of Immigrant Citizenship"
Lisa Park, Department of Sociology and Director, Asian American Studies Program University of Minnesota