Labor

Why Claudia Goldin Won the Nobel

Marianne Bertrand describes the contributions of Claudia Goldin, this year's Nobel prize winner in economics, as well as her relationship with Goldin as a colleague.

Firm Consolidations Hurt Workers, But Likely Not Because of Market Power

In new research, Sabien Dobbelaere, Grace McCormack, Daniel Prinz, and Sándor Sóvágó find that mergers negatively impact labor market outcomes. Mergers result in job losses, and the earnings of workers who lose their jobs don’t recover for several years on average. The authors find these negative consequences are more likely attributable to the restructuring of labor forces than subsequent firm market power.

Labor Markets Are the New Frontier for Competition Policy

Do labor markets in Europe or the United States and Canada experience more monopsony power? In a new paper published in the University of Chicago Law Review, Satoshi Araki, Andrea Bassanini, Andrew Green, Luca Marcolin, and Cristina Volpin provide comparisons of monopsony power between the two regions, documenting similar levels of concentration across labor markets despite generally stronger protections in Europe. They also discuss the effects of such concentration on employment and wages, ending with potential regulatory reforms to address these issues.

What the Practice of Noncompetes in Italy Says About the Current American Debate

American antitrust regulators have recently taken aim at noncompete clauses. They argue that noncompetes suppress labor bargaining power and thus wages. The Italian labor market differs from its American counterpart in its rigid protections for labor, but the use of noncompetes in Italy occur at about the same rate as in the United States and shows a correlation with lower wages for workers whose noncompete clauses are unjustified because their jobs require little training and do not grant access to trade secrets. The evidence from Italy suggests that better regulation of noncompetes and informing workers of their rights is justified on the whole.

How Workers Adapt to the Threat of Local Employer Exploitation

In two recent papers, Matthew E. Kahn and Joseph Tracy examine the outcomes of local labor markets affected by monopsony power. They find that in areas with a high degree of monopsony power, workers earn lower wages but are compensated with lower house prices, at the expense of homeowners. Monopsony markets also experience a “brain drain” over time due to young, educated workers who leave for better opportunities. The rise of work-from-home may accelerate this dynamic by allowing talent to change labor markets without changing residences.

The Classic Theory of Albert O. Hirschman Argues Against the US Chamber’s Case for Non-Competes

Drawing on the theory of Albert O. Hirschman’s  Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, Brian Callaci argues non-compete clauses stifle the important channels of communication between employees and businesses necessary for improving firm competitiveness. The evidence also shows that, despite claims from businesses, non-competes harm rather than reward employees for their loyalty. 

Children of Workers Impacted by Automation Are More Likely To Experience Lower Income Mobility

A new empirical study examines whether advancements in automation and robotics have affected intergenerational income mobility. The authors find that parents’ exposure to new...

Are There Really Gender Pay Differences in the CEO Labor Market?

The gender pay gap is a well-documented phenomenon in global labor markets, but this gap does not seem to apply to the pay of...

How Women in the Workplace Has Changed Over the Last 50 Years

Decades of progress have seen greater opportunities for women in the workplace, but sizable gender gaps still remain. Stefania Albanesi, Claudia Olivetti and Barbara...

To Understand Earnings Inequality, We Need To Study Hours Inequality

A growing literature on income inequality and labor earnings has overlooked the contribution of disparities in hours worked. In new research with Lara Vivian,...

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