Emerging Labor Market Institutions for the Twenty-First Century

Emerging Labor Market Institutions for the Twenty-First Century

Richard B. Freeman, Joni Hersch, and Lawrence Mishel Mishel

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226261577

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Private sector unionism is in decline in the United States. As a result, labor advocates, community groups, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals concerned with the well-being of workers have sought to develop alternative ways to represent workers' interests. This book provides an in-depth assessment of how effectively labor market institutions are responding to this drastically altered landscape. It provides case studies of new labor market institutions and new directions for existing institutions. The chapters examine the behavior and impact of new organizations that have formed to solve workplace problems and to bolster the position of workers. They also document how labor unions employ new strategies to maintain their role in the economic system. While non-union institutions are unlikely to fill the gap left by the decline of unions, the findings suggest that emerging groups and unions might together improve some dimensions of worker well-being. The book is the story of workers and institutions in flux, searching for ways to represent labor in the new century.

Table of Contents


Richard B. Freeman and Joni Hersch

I Studies of Nonworker Organizations

2 White Hats or Don Quixotes?

Kimberly Ann Elliott and Richard B. Freeman

3 The Living Wage Movement

Jared Bernstein

II Studies of Membership-Based Initiatives

III New Union Opportunities and Initiatives

7 A Submerging Labor Market Institution?

Thomas C. Buchmueller, John E. DiNardo, and Robert G. Valletta