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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment is a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to research, teaching, and service on labor and employment issues. Through the work of its units—the Labor Center, the Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (LOSH), and the Human Resources Round Table (HARRT)—the Institute forms wide-ranging research agendas that carry UCLA into the Los Angeles community and beyond. The institute supports faculty and graduate student research on employment and labor topics in a variety of academic disciplines, sponsors colloquia, conferences, and other public programming, and is home to the undergraduate minor in Labor  Studies. 

Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

There are 169 publications in this collection, published between 2002 and 2019.
Policy Briefs (42)

How Can Universities Foster Educational Equityfor Undocumented College Students:Lessons from the University of California

Undocumented students face a multitude of barriers when pursuing highereducation. This report examines what universities can do to promote theeducational equity of undocumented students. We focus on the Universityof California system, nine undergraduate educational institutions thathave supportive institutional policies and are located in a state that offersaccess to in-state tuition and state-funded financial aid. Drawing on focusgroups and interviews with 214 undocumented University of Californiaundergraduate students and an original survey with 508 respondents, weoutline how these educational institutions have successfully closed someresource gaps by creating undocumented student programs. We thenexplore four persisting barriers: financial need, academic distraction, mentalhealth, and limited postgraduate preparation. We end by outlining policyrecommendations.

Local Government Models of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Employment

As one of the primary engines of economic development, local governments are in a position to enhance employment opportunities for low income and minority workers by implementing policies to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in the local workforce. This brief reviews the policy tools and strategies available to municipal governments for targeted workforce development. Based on a survey of policies in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Cleveland, the brief shows types of policies local government agencies can implement to recruit, train, and provide employment opportunities for workers from disadvantage populations in local communities. The brief concludes policies that include members from the community in the developmental process and emphasize collaboration with civic organizations are more effective for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the local workforce.

Where There Are Few Unions: Health and Safety Education for Organizing in Export Zones

The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, was one of the world’s deadliest industrial disasters. Killing over 1,100 garment workers, it set the stage for a renewed discussion about working conditions for the people who make the clothes Americans wear.  Roughly 97% of the clothing sold in the US is made internationally, largely in export factories and Export Processing Zones (EPZs) scattered across the globe. The dramatic expansion of these factories and EPZs in their various forms has occurred without an increased commitment on the part of manufacturers, producers, investors, or governments to workers’ health and safety on the job.

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IRLE Reports (45)

Building a Culture of Cross-border Solidarity

In the period since the North American Free Trade Agreement has come into effect, the economies of the United States and Mexico have become more integrated than ever. Through Plan Merida and partnerships on security, the military and the drug war, the political and economic policies pursued by the U.S. and Mexican governments are more coordinated than they’ve ever been.

Working people on both sides of the border are not only affected by this integration. Workers and their unions in many ways are its object. These policies seek to maximize profits and push wages and benefits to the bottom, manage the flow of people displaced as a result, roll back rights and social benefits achieved over decades, and weaken working class movements in both countries.

All this makes cooperation and solidarity across the U.S./Mexico border more important than ever. After a quarter century in which the development of solidarity relationships was interrupted during the cold war, unions and workers are once again searching out their counterparts and finding effective and appropriate ways to support each other.

Undocumented and Uninsured Part 2: Band-Aid Care

A Five-Part Report on Immigrant Youth and the Struggle to Access Health Care in California

Examining The Evidence: The Impact of the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance on Workers and Businesses

This study represents the most definitive analysis of a living wage lawís impact on workers and employers. It provides important new insights on the effects of living wage policies, which have been adopted by more than 120 local governments around the country. The studyís findings are based on three original random-sample surveys of workers and firms. Random sampling techniques ensure that survey findings are representative of the entire population being studied. The surveys include:

• A survey of 320 workers affected by the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance, conducted after the pay increase had taken place. This is the first such survey ever completed.

• A survey of 82 firms affected by the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance.

• A control group survey of non-living wage firms in similar industries, which provides a baseline for comparison in order to isolate the impacts of the living wage.

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Working Papers (82)

A Vaccination for Education - The ICDS and the Education of Older Girls in Rural India

Girls lag behind boys in education in India. They also appear to provide significant amount of childcare at home. In this paper I investigate if provision of childcare services by India’s largest child development program - Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) - helps to reduce gender education gap byreleasing girls from home responsibilities. There are several mechanisms by which the ICDS provides childcare directly and could reduce its cost. Using logit, covariate matching and conditional logit (villageand mother fixed-effects), I find that in rural India the girls 6-14 years, whose younger sibling below 5 years is receiving any of the ICDS services intensely, have 44% higher odds of schooling, than thosewhose sibling is either receiving no ICDS service or none intensely. The effect on boys 6-14 years is positive, but not robust. Further evidence suggests that younger age girls seem to be benefiting relativelymore, and the effect is driven mainly by positive health benefits of vaccinations of younger children, and perhaps of supplementary feeding. The bigger and more robust effect on girls seems to be consistent with evidence from time-use of children 6-14. In comparison to boys, relatively many more girls spendtime on childcare, especially those with very young siblings of ages 0-23 months, and significantly lesser number combine childcare and education.

Development, Disparity, and Colonial Shocks: Do Endowments Matter?

The province of Punjab – home to 56 percent of Pakistan’s population, is marked by regionaldisparity. This paper argues that the socioeconomic disparity observed today between theSouth-West of Punjab and the rest of the Province is largely owed to the historical differences inregional endowments. During the colonial rule over India, the North and Center of the provincebenefitted from Canals, Cantonments (military garrisons) and enlistment in the Indian army tofight on the side of the Britain in the two world wars. These shocks rested upon endowmentsunique to the two regions. The barren but cultivable land and sparse population of the Centerfacilitated canal colonization. The geo-strategic location of the North allowed the establishmentof military headquarters and smaller garrisons in the region. The hardy men of the North,experienced in warfare since the 12th century, were suitable for the army. The South-West of thePunjab lacking the endowments of interest to the British, failed to benefit. Hence, thesocioeconomic disparity observed today.

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