“The Major Interdisciplinary Journal in the Field of Employment and Labor Relations”

-Daniel J.B. Mitchell

Current Cover

Current Issue

current cover
January 2014

Volume 53, Issue 1
Pages 1-167

The Journal is available in the Library and online in the Wiley Online Library (subscription required):

Unions, Wage Gaps, and Wage Dispersion: New Evidence from the Americas (pages 1–27)
Fernando Rios-Avila and Barry T. Hirsch

Using a common methodology, the effects of unions on wage levels and wage dispersion are estimated for two neighboring countries, Bolivia and Chile, and for the United States. The analysis shows that unions have broadly similar effects on the wage distribution within these three economies. The findings suggest that the political economy of unions, coupled with market constraints on labor costs, produce commonality in union wage effects that transcend other economic and institutional differences.

Is Occupational Injury Risk Higher at New Firms? (pages 28–45)
Seth A. Seabury, John Mendeloff and Frank Neuhauser

This paper studies whether newly created firms have higher injury rates than established firms. We use data on a large sample of single-establishment firms in Pennsylvania from 2001–2005 to examine the relationship between firm age and the risk of lost workday injuries. Using the full set of firms, there appears to be little overall correlation between firm age and risk. If anything, newer firms appear less likely to have lost workday injuries. When we condition on having at least one injury reported in 2000, however, we find that in later years the injury risk of firms declines with age. This pattern is consistent with systematic underreporting of injuries by new firms.

The Plateau in U.S. Women's Labor Force Participation: A Cohort Analysis (pages 46–71)
Jin Young Lee

After going up steadily for the last century, the female labor force participation (FLFP) rate in the United States suddenly leveled off in the early 1990s. Using March Current Population Survey data, I find that the FLFP stopped rising for birth cohorts from the 1950s on. My shift-share analyses show that both the plateau and the earlier upward trend in FLFP appeared within almost every category broken down by education, marital status, and child-rearing.

Temporary Help Work: Earnings, Wages, and Multiple Job Holding (pages 72–100)
Sarah Hamersma, Carolyn Heinrich and Peter Mueser

Temporary help services (THS) employment has been growing in size, particularly among disadvantaged workers. An extended policy debate focuses on the low earnings, limited benefits, and insecurity that such jobs appear to provide. We investigate the earnings and wage differentials observed between THS and other jobs in a sample of disadvantaged workers. We find lower quarterly earnings at THS jobs but a $1 per hour wage premium. We reconcile these findings in terms of the shorter duration and lower hours worked at THS jobs. We interpret the premium as a compensating wage differential.

Wage Discrimination Against Workers with Sensory Disabilities (pages 101–124)
Marjorie L. Baldwin and Chung Choe

We link information on occupation-specific job demands to data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to provide first-ever estimates of wage discrimination against workers with sensory disabilities. Estimates are derived from wage models that control for job demands related to sensory abilities, and interactions between job demands and workers' sensory limitations. Results indicate approximately one third (one tenth) of the male (female) disability-related wage differential is potentially attributed to discrimination. The results differ from estimates of discrimination against workers with physical disabilities obtained with similar methods, underscoring the importance of accounting for heterogeneity of the disabled population in discrimination studies.

Indicative and Updated Estimates of the Collective Bargaining Premium in Germany (pages 125–156)
John Addison, Paulino Teixeira, Katalin Evers and Lutz Bellmann

This study provides updated evidence on the union contract differential in Germany using establishment-wide wage data and two estimation strategies. It provides pairwise estimates of the union differential based on separate samples of collective bargaining leavers and joiners vis-à-vis the corresponding counterfactual groups. We report that average wages increase by 3 to 3.5 percent after entering into a collective agreement and decrease by 3 to 4 percent after abandoning a collective agreement. Excluding establishments that experience mass layoffs does not significantly influence these net findings, although such establishments record wage losses—statistically insignificant for joiners but up to 10 percent in the case of leavers, as compared with the counterfactuals. The backdrop to these new indicative estimates, which are properly conditioned on establishment size and industry affiliation, inter alia, is one of wage stagnation and continuing union decline.