Saturday, April 9, 2005

Midlife Crisis also a Women Issue

Sue Shellenbarger (WSJ) reports on how midlife crisis has become a women issue.  According to Shellenbarger:

"A startlingly high number of women have experienced what they consider a midlife crisis, broadly defined as a stressful or turbulent psychological transition that occurs most often in the late 40s and early 50s.

By age 50, even more women than men are reporting a turbulent midlife transition -- 36.1% of women, compared with 34% of men -- according to research by Elaine Wethington, a Cornell University associate professor, based on a subset of the giant 6,432-person MacArthur Foundation "Midlife in the United States" study of Americans' well-being at midlife.

Applying the findings to the 42-million-member generation of U.S. women who are nearing or in middle age, defined as about 38 to 55 years old, more than 15 million women will have, or are already having, what they regard as a midlife crisis -- about equal to the entire populations of Colorado, Massachusetts and Minnesota combined."

Shellenbarger attributes the increased in reported cases to:

"put it simply, women are different today. For the first time in history, women not only face more of the kind of stresses that tend to bring on midlife crises, but they also have the financial muscle, the skills and the confidence to act out their frustrations and resolve them. In a sense, women are having midlife crises now because they can."

Midlife Crisis Becomes An Issue for More Women

April 9, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Union Membership Data Update

The Union Membership and Coverage Database, has been updated to include 2004 CPS figures.

Union Membership and Coverage Database ( is an Internet data resource providing private and public sector union membership, coverage, and density estimates compiled from the Current Population Survey (CPS) using BLS methods.  Economy-wide estimates are provided beginning in 1973; estimates by state, detailed industry, and detailed occupation begin in 1983; and estimates by metropolitan area begin in 1986.  The Database, constructed by Barry Hirsch (Trinity University) and David Macpherson (Florida State University), is updated annually.

April 9, 2005 in Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (1)

Answer to Labor Quote Quiz

The answer to this week Labor Quote (from is:

Organize, and stand together.  Claim something together, and at once; let the nation hear a united demand from the laboring voice, and then, when you have got that, go on after another; but get something.

--Wendell Phillips; American orator, abolitionist; 1870

April 9, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 8, 2005

Labor Quote Quiz

Who said?

Organize, and stand together.  Claim something together, and at once; let the nation hear a united demand from the laboring voice, and then, when you have got that, go on after another; but get something.

For the answer click here.  Source

April 8, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Labor Joke and Cartoon of the Week

Check out this week's labor joke and labor cartoon at

April 8, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Conference on Careers at Wharton

New Research on Careers
The Center for Human Resources and the Management Department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are sponsoring a multi-disciplinary conference on research related to careers on June 24-25, 2005, in Philadelphia.
The theme of the conference is to present and discuss empirical research on careers, specifically the movement of individuals across jobs, within and across organizations.  Among the topics to be explored are the determinants of advancement in jobs and careers, evidence on changing patterns in careers, and research aimed at understanding the institutions influencing careers, such as search firms and temporary help agencies.
Researchers who are interested in presenting papers should contact the organizers before May 1 and submit an abstract or manuscript.  Prominent researchers from economics, psychology, and sociology have agreed to attend, and we expect a good turnout.  Every effort will be made to provide financial support for those who are presenting papers and cannot otherwise attend the conference.
Contact info:
Center for Human Resources
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
204 Steinberg-Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6302

April 8, 2005 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New employment law book

WorkLaw: Cases and Materials

By Marion Crain, Pauline Kim, and Michael Selmi LexisNexis 2005 -- Available for Fall 2005 Adoptions

The text is intended for a survey course on Employment Law, and emphasizes throughout the significance of conceptualizing rights at work individually as opposed to collectively. WorkLaw presents the law of work holistically, illuminating common themes that run throughout Employment Law, Labor Law, and Employment Discrimination. The text is organized around five core themes of conflict in the workplace: job security versus flexibility, dignity vs. commodification; voice vs. control of protection and property; freedom from discrimination vs. flexibility, and the tension between preferences for private ordering through contract and the need for a social safety net. Centered around these themes, the book includes what have become standard topics in Employment Law, at-will employment and its exceptions, privacy and other workplace conditions, intellectual property, discrimination, FLSA, Workers' Comp, OSHA, ERISA and arbitration agreements. A specail feature of this book is the incorporation of labor law principles as a contrasting model with the individual rights model, excerpts from many scholars and others on the developing law, and the inclusion of many contemporary topics, including issues relating to diversity in the workplace, the duty of loyalty and the rise of trade secrets litigation, and the ways in with the National Labor Relations Act can spill over to the nonunionized workplace.

April 8, 2005 in Teaching | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 7, 2005

NBER Report on Labor Market Discrimination

What Do Wage Differentials Tell Us about Labor Market Discrimination? by June E. O'Neill, Dave M. O'Neill - #11240 (LS)


We examine the extent to which non-discriminatory factors can explain observed wage gaps between racial and ethnic minorities and whites, and between women and men. In general we find that differences in productivity-related factors account for most of the between group wage differences in the year 2000. Determinants of wage gaps differ by group. Differences in schooling and in skills developed in the home and in school, as measured by test scores, are of central importance in explaining black/white and Hispanic/white wage gaps among both women and men. Immigrant assimilation is an additional factor for Asians and workers from Central and South America. The sources of the gender gap are quite different, however. Gender differences in schooling and cognitive skills as measured by the AFQT are quite small and explain little of the pay gap. Instead the gender gap largely stems from choices made by women and men concerning the amount of time and energy devoted to a career, as reflected in years of work experience, utilization of part-time work, and other workplace and job characteristics.

April 7, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NARFE Name Change

The Washington Post is reporting that the National Association of Retired Federal Employees has changed its name to the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. The group will continue to use its acronym, NARFE.

Read all about it. Subscription Required.

Thanks to Law Librarian Blog for the tip.

April 7, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

NBER Report on Bargaining Power in Marriage

While not a labor issue per se, this reports address a topic that deals with the consequences of "wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment."

Bargaining Power in Marriage: Earnings, Wage Rates and Household Production by Robert A. Pollak - #11239 (LS)


What determines bargaining power in marriage? This paper argues that wage rates, not earnings, determine well-being at the threat point and, hence, determine bargaining power. Observed earnings at the bargaining equilibrium may differ from earnings at the threat point because hours allocated to market work at the bargaining solution may differ from hours allocated to market work at the threat point. In the divorce threat model, for example, a wife who does not work for pay while married might do so following a divorce; hence, her bargaining power would be related to her wage rate, not to her earnings while married. More generally, a spouse whose earnings are high because he or she chooses to allocate more hours to market work, and correspondingly less to household production and leisure, does not have more bargaining power. But a spouse whose earnings are high because of a high wage rate does have more bargaining power. Household production has received little attention in the family bargaining literature. The output of household production is analogous to earnings, and a spouse's productivity in household production is analogous to his or her wage rate. Thus, in a bargaining model with household production, a spouse's productivity in home production is a source of bargaining power.

April 6, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NBER Report of Labor-Controlled Firms

When Labor Has a Voice in Corporate Governance
by Olubunmi Faleye, Vikas Mehrotra, Randall Morck - #11254 (CF LS)


Equity ownership gives labor both a fractional stake in the firm's residual cash flows and a voice in corporate governance. Relative to other firms, labor-controlled publicly-traded firms deviate more from value maximization, invest less in long-term assets, take fewer risks, grow more slowly, create fewer new jobs, and exhibit lower labor and total factor productivity. We therefore propose that labor uses its corporate governance voice to maximize the combined value of its contractual and residual claims, and that this often pushes corporate policies away from, rather than towards, shareholder value maximization.

April 6, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)