Spring 2008 Colloquia
Monday, February 4, 2008 – 12pm
"Measuring Tradable Services and the Task Content of Offshorable Services Jobs"
Lori Kletzer, Professor Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz and Peterson Institute for International Economics
Note: This event was cancelled.
Monday, February 11, 2008 – 12pm
Economic Development and Labor Market Frictions; Theory and Evidence from the Post-Bellum U.S. South.
Suresh Naidu, Ph. D. student, Department of Economics, UC Berkeley
Imperfect labor markets may be an important source of misallocation in developing countries. Extending Burdett-Mortensen (1998), I develop a model of sectoral reallocation of labor with search frictions, showing that decreased competition between employers reduces labor employed in the productive sector. I use the introduction of labor market legislation aimed at reducing labor market competition during the era of Jim Crow to test the effect of limiting labor market competition on the employment, migration, occupational choice, and urbanization of African Americans born in the U.S. South. Using difference-in-difference-in-differences and a panel of state-level labor legislation from Roback(1986) and individual census microdata, I find that legislation that changes the reservation position of workers (anti-vagrancy laws) increase labor force participation, but have a much smaller effect on the sectoral choices of African-American men than legislation that reduces the extent of on-the-job search (contract enforcement, enticement, and emigrant agent laws).
Monday, February 25, 2008 – 12pm
Estimating the Relative Productivity and Relative Wages of Natives and Immigrants
Raymundo Campos-Vàsquez, PhD Candidate, Economics, UC Berkeley
Wednesday February 27, 2008 – 4:00-5:30pm
Marx in Shanghai: Is China the Emerging Epicenter of World Labor Unrest?
Beverly J. Silver, Professor of Sociology at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Obituaries written for the working-class notwithstanding, developments in China over the past 10 years confirm the thesis that labor remains a central actor shaping the evolution of historical capitalism on a world-scale. Widespread, spontaneous, "apolitical" and localized protests since the late 1990s—first by workers laid off from state-owned enterprises, and more recently, by the new migrant working-class-in-formation—have already induced the national leadership of the Chinese Communist Party to modify its course. The most important concrete manifestation of this change is the passage of a new labor law that went into effect on January 1, 2008, spelling out specific workers’ rights. The labor law itself will almost certainly become the catalyst for further rounds of contestation and claims by the Chinese working class. It is not far-fetched to conclude that in both absolute numerical terms (measurable open unrest) and in terms of its impact on the dynamics and future course of global capitalism, China has already become the epicenter of world labor unrest, and will increasingly be so in the coming decade.
If an analysis of the dynamics of historical capitalism in Forces of Labor led to the prediction that "where capital goes, conflict goes"; then this same analysis leads us to look for a number of predictable capitalist responses to any new wave of labor militancy, including further rounds of geographical relocation and technological/organizational change—spatial and other "fixes"—all with implications for working classes both within and beyond China. These general theoretical insights provide critical analytical tools; but at the same time it is also clear that no mechanical application of general theory will suffice. Rather, the theory must be made more historically/geographically grounded (specified) if we are to grasp the current tendencies of global capitalism or to identify opportunities for transformations from below. This paper seeks to take an initial step in that direction.
Beverly Silver is Professor of Sociology at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (USA). She is the author of Forces of Labor: Workers’ Movements and Globalization since 1870 (winner of the 2005 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award of the American Sociological Association) and co-author with Giovanni Arrighi of Chaos and Governance in the Modern World System.
Monday, March 10, 2008 - 12pm
Incentive System for Inventors
Hideo Owan, Professor, Graduate School of International Management. Aoyama Gakuin University / Visiting Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University
Prior to his appointment at Aoyama Gakuin University, Dr. Owan taught at John M. Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis. He worked for Nomura Research Institute as an Economist in Tokyo and New York before starting his graduate studies. Dr. Owan's research spans the theory of the firm, personnel economics, and industrial organization. He received his Ph.D. in Business from Stanford University in 1999. He has published in major international journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, Management Science, and the Journal of Labor Economics.
This paper evaluates sources of inventor motivation and their impact on inventor productivity using the novel dataset from a new survey of Japanese inventors on 5,278 patents conducted by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in 2007. Our study reveals that satisfaction from contributing to science and technology "taste for science", and interests in solving challenging technical problems "taste for challenge" are major motivation drivers for inventors. A firm may benefit from hiring those with strong taste for science because (1) they are more motivated, (2) they might increase the absorptive capacity of the firm, and (3) taste for science is likely to be correlated with ability. Using treatment effect models, we also show some evidence that monetary rewards may be an effective motivation driver where they are introduced. Our analyses show that taste for science and monetary compensation might be substitutes. Namely, (1) a successful introduction of monetary rewards is less likely when inventors have strong "taste for science", and (2) the effect of "taste for science" on patent value is smaller in the presence of monetary rewards. One interpretation of the result is that inventors who otherwise pursue risky projects aimed at technological leap might shift to safer and predictable projects in the presence of monetary incentives.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - 12pm
Work Flexibility and Precariousness of Employment
Wages, careers and social protection for Italian non-standard workers
Fabio Berton, Visiting Student Researcher at the Center for Labor Economics, UC Berkeley, and Researcher at the LABORatorio R. Revelli – Center for Employment Studies, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin
Matteo Richiardi, Assistant Professor in Economics at the Technical University of Marche and Senior Researcher and head of the Microsimulation Unit at the LABORatorio R. Revelli – Center for Employment Studies, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin
Stefano Sacchi, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Milan and Deputy Director of the Research Unit on European Governance URGE of the Collegio Carlo Alberto of Turin
Fabio Berton is Visiting Student Researcher at the Center for Labor Economics, UC Berkeley, and Researcher at the LABORatorio R. Revelli – Center for Employment Studies, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Turin in 2008. His research focuses on transitions across labor market states of non-standard workers.
Matteo Richiardi is Assistant Professor in Economics at the Technical University of Marche and Senior Researcher and head of the Microsimulation Unit at the LABORatorio R. Revelli – Center for Employment Studies, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Turin. His main research interests are related to the computational study of labor market dynamics.
Stefano Sacchi is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Milan and Deputy Director of the Research Unit on European Governance URGE of the Collegio Carlo Alberto of Turin. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pavia. Alongside the issue of social protection for non-standard workers in Italy, he is currently researching on the impact of European integration on domestic social policy governance in the EU.
The authors present a comprehensive empirical research on the Italian labor market reforms. In Italy, during the nineties, temporary contracts have been widely liberalized; in the book they face this issue by looking at wages, pensions, employment and unemployment duration, welfare provisions and labor market histories of temporary workers, trying to assess how much flexibility has been paid by the workers in terms of instability.
Monday, April 7, 2008 – 12pm
Nurse Organizing, Labor Strife, and Patient Health Outcomes
Ethan Kaplan, IRLE Visiting Scholar
Monday, April 14, 2008 – 12pm
Does Power Drive Out Trust? Relations Between Labour Market Actors in Sweden
PerOla Oberg, IRLE Visiting Scholar; Professor, Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden
Results from an ongoing research program (Conflict, Co-Operation, and Industrial Relation Regimes) indicate that certain institutions on the labor market create trust between workers and their superiors, and this in turn leads to less opportunistic behavior among workers. But, according to well established research, trust is not easy to create, since power asymmetries—common on the labor market—"drives out trust".
However, based on complete network data of centrally positioned actors in Swedish labor market politics (government agencies, political parties, trade unions, employers’ associations, and big companies), it is demonstrated that actors on the Swedish labor market indeed can trust other actors that have power over them. In fact, actors with more power are also more trusted than actors that are powerless.
We argue that the reason for this rather unexpected finding is that there are institutions on the Swedish labor market that restrain actors from making destructive use of their power. These findings are supported also by other survey data: Power drives out trust on the labor market, but the negative impact power asymmetries has on trust may be mitigated if institutions are perceived as "fair".
Monday, April 21, 2008 – 12pm
Next Generation Unionism: Power, Politics and the Informational Labor Process
Chris Benner, Associate Professor of Human and Community Development at the University of California, Davis
Dr. Chris Benner is an Associate Professor of Human and Community Development at the University of California, Davis. He is also a research associate at the Keystone Research Center (Harrisburg), the Industrial, Organisational and Labour Studies Program at University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal (South Africa) and the Sociology of Work Program at University of Witwatersrand (South Africa). He is the author of Work in the New Economy (2002) and co-author of Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy (2007). Benner’s research focuses on the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment patterns. His applied policy work focuses on workforce development policy, the structure, dynamics and evaluation of workforce intermediaries, and strategies for promoting regional equity. Prior to joining UC Davis, he was an Assistant Professor of Geography at Pennsylvania State University. Prior to that, he was a research associate at Working Partnerships USA, a dynamic non-profit advocacy organization in Silicon Valley working to rebuild links between economic policy and community well-being. Benner’s work has also included providing technical assistance to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), analyzing regional development strategies for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), evaluating workforce development programs for the Keystone Research Center and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry and serving on technical advisory boards for the Urban Habitat Program (San Francisco), the Center for Policy Initiatives (San Diego) and the California Economic Strategy Panel. He received his doctorate in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
Monday, April 28, 2008 – 12pm
The Local in the Global: Rethinking Social Movements in the New Millennium
Kim Voss, Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley
Monday, May 5, 2008 – 12pm
Long–Run Impacts of Unions on Firms
Alexandre Mas, Professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Monday, May 12, 2008 – 12pm
Does Hospital Closure Have and Effect on Infant Mortality? Evidence From California Hospitals
Annika Frohloff, Visiting Researcher, Center for Labor Economics, UC Berkeley
Annika Frohloff is a visiting researcher for the Center for Labor Economics and her main research interests lie in the theoretical and empirical analysis of health care markets. She works on competition between hospitals and its effects on hospital quality and efficiency.
Note: This event was cancelled.
All events are located at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA.
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