Fall 2012 Colloquia

Monday, September 17, 2012 | 12pm - 1pm

James Lincoln

‘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.

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Monday, September 24 | 12pm – 1pm

Steve Raphael

‘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.

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Monday, October 1 | 12pm – 1pm

Renate Neubaumer

‘Specialization in the German Automobile Industry?  A Roll-Backto Rigid Organizations?’

Renate Neubäumer, Institute for Social Sciences, Universität Koblenz-Landau, Germany

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Monday, October 8 | 12pm – 1pm

Aaron Sojourner

‘Impacts of Unionization of Nursing Homes 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.

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Monday, October 15 | 12pm – 1pm

Irene Bloemraad

‘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.

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Monday, October 22 | 12pm – 1pm

Sandra Smith

‘Do Blacks Help Less?’

Sandra Susan Smith, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
Coauthor, Kara Alexis Young

Research on race and network hiring indicates that blacks are less likely than other ethnoracial groups to find work through personal contacts. Conventional wisdom attributes this gap in personal contact use to blacks' lower levels of access to job relevant social capital. I explore a different hypothesis: that blacks help less. Drawing from in-depth interviews at one public sector employer with 97 black and Latino blue and white-collar workers, I find that black blue-collar workers both help less proactively and reject more. To explain, I highlight how factors—network composition and prior failed matches—differentially shape working class blacks' perception of risks and costs associated with the job-matching process. Findings have important implications for understanding the conditions that facilitate social capital activation during job search.

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Monday, November 19 | 12pm – 1pm

Richard Freeman

‘Increases in Earnings Dispersion Across Establishments and Individuals in the U.S.’

Richard Freeman, Economics, Harvard University


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All events are located at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA.

TO ATTEND AN EVENT, PLEASE R.S.V.P. Myra Armstrong, zulu2@berkeley.edu