Testing the Effects of Striker Replacement and Employer Implementation of Final Offers on Employer and Union Bargaining Power
Penn State Law
Saint Mary's University, Canada
San Diego State University - Department of Management
San Diego State University - Management Department
September 23, 2012
Penn State Law Research Paper No. 24-2012
Many sorts of quantitative and qualitative empirical research are regularly used to answer questions related to work and workplace issues. However, some issues involving human behavior may be difficult to capture using standard empirical methods. Common barriers include access to people or information; problems with accurate or honest reporting; behavior that occurs over long periods of time; cost; and ethical barriers as to research using human subjects.
Important information related to collective bargaining can be difficult to collect for all of these reasons. Participants in collective bargaining may not want outsiders present for all or critical parts of negotiations. They may not be candid about motives or actions, or they may be honest but not fully self-aware as to motives or actions. Bargaining sessions may be long and extend over months or years. In the case of gathering information about collective bargaining within the larger union-employer-employee contexts may require decades of access and involvement. As a result, costs in terms of time and funding and other issues may rule out examining certain sorts of questions using actual participants engaged in collective bargaining.
Thus, one important area that would benefit from empirical research – testing the effects of law and proposals for law reform in general and collective bargaining law reform in particular – has so many of these problems that many important issues cannot be tested using standard methods. In addition, testing law reform proposals requires gathering data on actions that have not yet happened.
Simulations provide one useful way to overcome many of these problems. In effect, simulations create a law reform laboratory. Of course, simulations are only useful if they are reflect reality. This article examines evidence as to participants’ actions in a simulation used to test various iterations of laws governing how collective bargaining impasses are to be resolved and whether those actions sufficiently mirror those of employer and union negotiators as to provide reliable data on the likely effects of law reform.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: labor, collective bargaining, negotiations, unions, employers, simulations, experimental economics
JEL Classification: C9, C91, C92, J3, J38, J5, J51, J52, J53, J58, K31
Date posted: September 23, 2012 ; Last revised: October 31, 2012
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