Workers' Rights: Rethinking Protective Labor Legislation
NBER Working Paper No. 1754
This paper focuses on a few directions in which protective labor legislation might be expanded in the United States over the next decade and the implications of expansion in each area for labor markets. Specifically, it addresses the areas of hours of work, unjust dismissal, comparable worth, and plant closings. In each case, the discussion stresses the need to be explicit about how private markets have failed,the need for empirical evidence to test such market failure claims, the need for economic analysis of potential unintended side effects ofpolicy changes, and the existing empirical estimates of the likely magnitudes of these effects.