NBER Public Sector Collective Bargaining Law Data Set
For questions about the data: contact Rob Valletta (firstname.lastname@example.org; 415-974-3345)
These data were developed as part of the NBER project on public sector unionism in the mid-1980s. The document you are reading provides basic information for using the data, including a description of the structure and identifying variables. Additional details are provided in:
R.G. Valletta and R.B. Freeman, "The NBER Public Sector Collective Bargaining Law Data Set." Appendix B in Richard B. Freeman and Casey Ichniowski, editors, When Public Employees Unionize Chicago: NBER and University of Chicago Press, 1988.
Please cite this appendix in any written work that uses these data. It is an important source of documentation; for example, for details about the compilation and structure of the data set, see especially footnotes 1-3 in the appendix.The complete data set is contained in the Stata data file publaw.dta. In addition, the file publaw.raw contains the data in comma-separated value format, suitable for reading into a spreadsheet or other data program. For individuals who use the latter, the accompanying Stata program label-out.do, defines the variables (using labels) and indicates the ordering in the raw data file. The Stata command
For each group-state-year, the status of state bargaining law is summarized by 14 numerical variables. These variables represent the features of the law deemed most relevant for union activity. In some states, judicial decisions also have played a role in the evolution of the legal status of collective bargaining by public employees; this is beyond the scope of the data set. Tables 1A-E in the Valletta and Freeman appendix (pages 400-403) indicate how the legal variables are coded. The rest of the appendix presents simple descriptive statistics.
The additional documents, publaw_vars.htm and publaw_notes.htm, respectively, list the numerical coding scheme for the identifying variables (employee group and state), and the idiosyncratic features of the data.
Kim Rueben extended the variables concerned with collective bargaining rights, rights, and right to work laws, rgtowork, through 1996. union96.doc has the supplemental documentation and the data is in Stata or Excel format. union.sas and union2.sas contain SAS code used to look at and update analyze the data respectively.