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

-Daniel J.B. Mitchell

Current Cover

Current Issue

current cover
April 2015

Volume 54, Issue 2
Pages 199–366

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

Minimum Wage Channels of Adjustment (pages 199–239)
Barry T. Hirsch, Bruce E. Kaufman and Tetyana Zelenska

We analyze the effects of minimum wage increases in 2007–2009 using a sample of restaurants from Georgia and Alabama. Store-level payroll records provide precise measures of compliance costs. We examine multiple adjustment channels. Exploiting variation in compliance costs across restaurants, we find employment and hours responses to be variable and in most cases statistically insignificant. Channels of adjustment to wage increases and to changes in nonlabor costs include prices, profits, wage compression, turnover, and performance standards.

Do Train-or-Pay Schemes Really Increase Training Levels? (pages 240–255)
Benoit Dostie

Reacting to perceived market failures leading to under-optimal levels of firm-sponsored training, governments all over the world have stepped in with various policy instruments to alleviate this problem, using incentives such as regulation or co-financed schemes directed at firms or at individuals. Despite the widespread use of these schemes, rigorous empirical evaluation of such policies is uncommon. In this paper, we provide a careful evaluation of a reform in a train-or-pay scheme used in Canada that exempted medium-sized workplace from the training requirement. Our identification strategy involves comparing changes in training levels in medium-sized workplaces, before and after the reform, to changes for both smaller and larger workplaces. We also compare relative changes in training intensities to those observed in a neighboring province in which no such changes took place. We find the policy had no impact on training levels but caused firms to change their human capital investments portfolio, substituting informal and formal training.

Non-Standard “Contingent” Employment and Job Satisfaction: A Panel Data Analysis (pages 256–275)
Hielke Buddelmeyer, Duncan McVicar and Mark Wooden

Contingent forms of employment are usually associated with low-quality jobs and, by inference, jobs that workers find relatively unsatisfying. This assumption is tested using data from a representative household panel survey covering a country (Australia) with a high incidence of nonstandard employment. Results from the estimation of ordered logit regression models reveal that among males, both casual employees and labor-hire (agency) workers (but not fixed-term contract workers) report noticeably lower levels of job satisfaction, though this association diminishes with job tenure. Negative effects for women are mainly restricted to labor-hire workers.

Do Immigrants Work in Worse Jobs than U.S. Natives? Evidence from California (pages 276–293)
Madeline Zavodny

In the debate over immigration reform, a common assertion is that immigrants take jobs that U.S. natives do not want. Using data from the 2000 Census merged with O*NET data on occupation characteristics, I show that the jobs held by immigrants are more physically arduous than the jobs held by U.S. natives. However, data from the California Work and Health Survey on self-reported physical job demands indicate that immigrants do not perceive their jobs as requiring more physical effort than U.S. natives. Immigrants thus have worse jobs than natives but do not view them as such.

Teachers' Unions, Compensation, and Tenure (pages 294–320)
Kristine L. West

In this paper I show that school districts in which teachers negotiate via collective bargaining have greater returns to experience and grant tenure earlier than districts without collective bargaining. Districts that are unionized, either with or without legal collective bargaining protections, have higher returns to degrees and higher starting salaries than districts without a union. Unionization is not strongly correlated with the existence of output-based pay for performance but is correlated with the use of output-based measures in tenure decisions. Unionization is positively correlated with the number of junior teachers dismissed for poor performance but not strongly correlated with the number of senior teachers dismissed for poor performance.

Formal, Justice-Oriented Voice in the Nonunion Firm: Who Speaks Up and When? (pages 321–356)
Brian Klaas and Anna-Katherine Ward

Employee willingness to exercise workplace voice has been the subject of much recent research. However, very different types of voice are observed within the workplace, with some forms of voice receiving limited scholarly attention. In particular, limited attention has been given to the determinants of formal, justice-oriented voice within a nonunion context. Using a policy-capturing design, we examine factors that affect decisions to use formal, justice-oriented voice among 498 nonunion employees who had access to the same appeal procedure. The results suggest that this type of voice is affected by perceptions regarding immunity from negative managerial reactions to voice and also by factors associated with the utility of voice (e.g., the social power of those involved in the appeal and the evidence available to support the appeal). The results further suggest that perceived immunity moderates the impact of the social power of those involved in the appeal and the evidence available.