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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment supports faculty and graduate student research on employment and labor topics in a variety of academic disciplines. The Institute also sponsors colloquia, conferences and other public programming, and is home to the undergraduate minor in Labor and Workplace Studies at UCLA. The Institute also includes three sub-units: the UCLA Labor Center, the Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, and the Human Resources Round Table.

Cover page of 'Making Visible the Invisible': A Glimpse into the History, Evolution and Current Dynamics of Domestic Work Relationships in Sudan

'Making Visible the Invisible': A Glimpse into the History, Evolution and Current Dynamics of Domestic Work Relationships in Sudan

(2016)

Domestic work is defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as: ‘work performed in or for a household or households within an employment relationship’. Domestic work has largely been an invisible and mysterious occupation, considering that this kind of work takes place in private homes.  Like many other countries, Sudan benefits greatly from the social and economic contributions of domestic work. However, very little is known about the marginalisation, and exclusion of domestic workers. This article attempts to expose the history, evolution and current context of domestic work in Sudan. It traces the history of domestic work to the practice of slavery in Sudan, when slaves were mainly used as domestic helpers. It then analyses the contextual factors that influenced the evolution of domestic workers from slaves to servants before examining the current political, legal, economic, and socio-cultural context in which domestic work takes place. The article concludes with empirical findings on the relationship between domestic workers and their employers in Sudan.

Cover page of Temporary Agency Jobs in Japan:  Bad Employment Contracts or Bad Employment Relationships?

Temporary Agency Jobs in Japan:  Bad Employment Contracts or Bad Employment Relationships?

(2016)

Employment through a temporary agency, or temporary employment, typically offers a greater degree of flexibility in working hours than regular employment, but with low wages, few fringe benefits, little autonomy, and unstable employment, resulting in such jobs being deemed inferior. Previous studies have often treated this work as similar to part-timeemployment in terms of status differences compared to regular employment. In contrast, our study examines regular employment, non-regular employment, and temporary employment by considering the effect upon job quality of the three-party employment relationship among workers, client firms, and temporary staffing agencies compared to the traditional two-party employment relationship and the employment contract (non-fixed versus fixed term). The results of a statistical analysis of data gathered in our questionnaire surveying employees working in clerical jobs in the metropolitan areas of Japan show that both the three-party employment and fixed-term contracts have many negative effects, andeach has negative effects that the other does not. Both three-party employment and fixed-term contracts have negative effects on fringe benefits and job security. Three-party employment has negative effects on job autonomy while fixed-term contracts do not, whereas fixed-term contracts have negative effects on wages and positive effects on working hour flexibility while three-party employment does not. These findings imply that the three-party employment relationship as a primary feature of temporary employmentprovides workers only with disadvantage in several aspects of job quality.

Cover page of Matters Settled but Not Resolved: Worker Misclassification in the Rideshare Sector

Matters Settled but Not Resolved: Worker Misclassification in the Rideshare Sector

(2016)

A recent innovation, the ride-share sector, is the fastest growing sector of the sharingeconomy. These companies provide drivers with a mobile-based platform to find a fare and take a cut of the same, discouraging cash tipping. As advertisements for the companies suggest that these drivers can make anywhere between $20-$40 per hour, it’s no surprise that the companies are welcoming throngs of workers suffering in a sluggish economy and searching for a way to make ends meet, advertising themselves a potential vehicle for micro-entrepreneurial opportunity that allows workers to have more control and flexibility at work.

This paper provides a brief examination of the relevant legal framework as concerns the misclassification of rideshare drivers; recent misclassification decisions in Oregon, Florida, and California; and the recent Uber and Lyft settlements. This analysis considers the way ridesharedrivers are impacted by the fact that no one determinative test concerning misclassification exists, and looks at the ways in which different jurisdictions have come to different conclusions regardingthe same set of workers. The article focuses on key similarities between the major misclassification tests and the essentially uniform company policies and practices applicable to each individual company’s workforce, to provide a meaningful review of the relevant facts which can guide the decision-making processes of courts, policymakers, and other stakeholders, as well as research that concerns worker classification in the ridesharing sector. This analysis reveals that upon close examination, ride share drivers are indeed misclassified as independent contractors, when in fact they are employees.

Cover page of Beyond the Dreamer Narrative – Undocumented Youth Organizing Against Criminalization and Deportations in California

Beyond the Dreamer Narrative – Undocumented Youth Organizing Against Criminalization and Deportations in California

(2015)

When a group of undocumented migrants blocked a road in San Bernardino, California, in the summer of 2011, it was at first sight one out of many events organized by the protest movement of undocumented youth. While they marched down the road and started their action of civil disobedience, they were chanting “education not deportation” and wore academic caps and t-shirts with the campaign slogan “The DREAM is coming” as a reference to higher education and the federal DREAM Act . On the one hand, they were thus continuing the activism of the undocumented youth movement, which became nationally known because of its struggle for the rights of students without legal status in the US since its inception in the early 2000s (cf. Nicholls 2013; Corrunker 2012; Anguiano 2011; Unzueta/Seif 2014; Seif 2014; Costanza-Chock 2014; Eisema/Fiorito/Montero-Sieburth 2014; Negron-Gonzales 2014, 2015). On the other hand, this direct action was symbolic of a shift in the movement that heavily impacted the political practice of groups, coalitions and alliances of undocumented youth in California over the last years.

Cover page of Exploring the Effects of Right-to-Work Laws on Private Wages

Exploring the Effects of Right-to-Work Laws on Private Wages

(2015)

The empirical literature on the wage effect of 'right-to-work' (RTW) legislation remains fairly ambiguous with studies producing contrasting results. In this article, we address this issue by exploring the impact of RTW on wage heterogeneity between socio-demographic and occupational subpopulations in the U.S. Using data from the 2012-2014 Current Population Survey, we employ two analytical techniques for estimating the wage effect of RTW legislation. First, we utilize multi-level regression to observe the effects of state-level RTW legislation on individual hourly earnings and wage differences while controlling for socio-demographic and occupational characteristics of individual workers as well as developmental and regulatory characteristics of states. Second, we utilize propensity-score matching (PSM) to observe the wage difference between similar workers located in RTW and non-RTW states. According to estimates from the fully specified multi-level regression models, private workers in RTW states earn 1 percent less than workers in non-RTW states. However, according to estimates from the PSM approach, private workers in RTW states earn about 6 percent less than similar workers in non-RTW states. The results show RTW legislation reduces hourly wages, but the magnitude of the wage effect is dependent on the specification of regression models and the statistical approached use to estimate the treatment effect of RTW legislation. Additionally, we also find RTW both suppresses and exacerbates existing wage inequalities between socio-demographic subpopulations.

Cover page of Fear and Mistrust: The Relationship Among Japanese American Farmers, Organized Labor, and Future Generations

Fear and Mistrust: The Relationship Among Japanese American Farmers, Organized Labor, and Future Generations

(2015)

The formation of the Nisei Farmers League (NFL) in the 1960s was an important event for the community of Japanese American farmers in the Central Valley of California. During the same period, the United Farm Workers (UFW) emerged as a major advocate of farm workers rights in the region. While the UFW promoted the interests of farm workers, the NFL provided Japanese American farmers a collective voice in advocating for their property rights and business interests in the aftermath of the Japanese internment. The working paper highlights the conflict between the UFW and NFL as well as the internal struggle within the Japanese American farming community using historical information from archival research and personal interviews. The working paper shows the discontent between the UFW and NFL was primarily based on the inherent mistrust of Japanese American farmers toward outsiders and the UFW's misperception that the NFL represented the interests of corporate agriculture. Additionally, the working paper reviews the ongoing struggle with the organization between different generations of farmers over the NFL's relationship with the UFW. Based on this research, the author recommends a strong multi-ethnic coalition within the NFL would enhance the organization's role in disseminating information to small farmers about workers rights in the Central Valley.

Cover page of Fiscal Decentralization, Rural Industrialization, and Undocumented Labor Mobility in Rual China (1982-87)

Fiscal Decentralization, Rural Industrialization, and Undocumented Labor Mobility in Rual China (1982-87)

(2015)

This paper uses a unique panel dataset from China's initial reform of fiscal decentralization to analyze the relationships between fiscal decentralization, local economic development, and rural-rural undocumented inter-provincial labor mobility. Using a modified gravity model with Heckman Maximum Likelihood Estimation method, this paper shows that fiscal decentralization has two contending effects on labor market integration: Local economic development promotes labor mobility at the labor migration destination, but local public goods crowding restrains the inflow of labor. This paper also demonstrates that the crowding effect is stronger at lower levels of government.

Cover page of What Property Tax Limitations Do to Local Finances: A Meta-Analysis

What Property Tax Limitations Do to Local Finances: A Meta-Analysis

(2015)

Since California voters approved a state constitutional amendment to limit property taxes in 1978, most states in the United States have adopted legal limits on the annual increase of the property tax levy. Prior studies of the fiscal impact of property tax limitation on local government come to mixed conclusions. This study summarizes the literature with meta-regression analyses of the effect of property tax limitation on per capita property tax revenues, non-property-tax revenues, and total local revenues and expenditures. Aggregating estimates across studies provides better evidence that local governments are unable to circumvent limitations on property tax increases. Property tax limitations reduce property tax revenues. They may lead to compensatory increases in other taxes, but on average such increases do not fully make up for the foregone property tax revenue, and the net impact of a property tax limitation is therefore substantial fiscal constraint in the local public sector. By reducing the taxation of wealth and the spending on locally provided public services, property tax limitation may have a variety of perverse consequences for social life.

Cover page of What Property Tax Limitations Do to Local Finances: A Meta-Analysis

What Property Tax Limitations Do to Local Finances: A Meta-Analysis

(2015)

Since California voters approved a state constitutional amendment to limit property taxes in 1978, most states in the United States have adopted legal limits on the annual increase of the property tax levy. Prior studies of the fiscal impact of property tax limitation on local government come to mixed conclusions. This study summarizes the literature with meta-regression analyses of the effect of property tax limitation on per capita property tax revenues, non-property-tax revenues, and total local revenues and expenditures. Aggregating estimates across studies provides better evidence that local governments are unable to circumvent limitations on property tax increases. Property tax limitations reduce property tax revenues. They may lead to compensatory increases in other taxes, but on average such increases do not fully make up for the foregone property tax revenue, and the net impact of a property tax limitation is therefore substantial fiscal constraint in the local public sector. By reducing the taxation of wealth and the spending on locally provided public services, property tax limitation may have a variety of perverse consequences for social life.

Cover page of Gains or Pains?-- Effects of US-China Trade on US Employment: Based on a WIOT Analysis from 1995 to 2011

Gains or Pains?-- Effects of US-China Trade on US Employment: Based on a WIOT Analysis from 1995 to 2011

(2015)

With the rise of China, US-China trade has developed rapidly since the 1990s. In 2007, China overtook Mexico as the second largest trade partner of the US. But the trade imbalance, or more specifically, the US merchandise trade deficit with China has become the focus of both countries, especially after China’s entry into WTO in 2001. In 2013, the US-China trade deficit on goods was about 23 times more than that in 1991, up from 13.95 to 330.29 billion dollars, and elevated to 61% of US total trade deficit on goods (Figure 1). A large and persistent trade imbalance raises policy concerns because of its perceived links to domestic production and employment—specifically, the fear that more imports will mean less production and fewer jobs in the United States (Bown, 2005). From 1991 to 2013, the US manufacturing employment rate (percentage of population) decreased from 10.64% to 6.05%, leading to a widespread view that job losses in the US are “made in China”.