Abstract

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Strikes, Scabs and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires


Alan B. Krueger


Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Alexandre Mas


Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

September 2003

IZA Discussion Paper No. 869

Abstract:     
This paper provides a case study of the effect of labor relations on product quality. We consider whether a long, contentious strike and the hiring of replacement workers at Bridgestone/Firestone's Decatur plant in the mid-1990s contributed to the production of defective tires. Using several independent data sources, and looking before and after the strike and across plants, we find that labor strife at the Decatur plant closely coincided with lower product quality. Monthly data suggest that defects were particularly high around the time concessions were demanded and when large numbers of replacement workers and returning strikers worked side by side.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 55

Keywords: labor relations, product quality, Bridgestone/Firestone, strike

JEL Classification: J5, M5, M1

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Date posted: September 18, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Krueger, Alan B. and Mas, Alexandre, Strikes, Scabs and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires (September 2003). IZA Discussion Paper No. 869. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=446301

Contact Information

Alan B. Krueger (Contact Author)
Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )
Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4046 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Alexandre Mas
Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University ( email )
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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