Quantitative Problems

1.
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Outline the major causal factors responsible for the rise and fall of private-sector unions in the United States, over the past 100 years or so.
2.
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In light of the ongoing transformation of the U.S. economy, what are the likely prospects for union growth over the next decade?
3.
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Why are unionization rates so low among women relative to men, and among the southern states relative to the northern ones?
4.
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What is meant by the prevailing wage, and why might unions involved in the construction industry be in favor of it? In 2001, California's Department of Industrial Relations significantly broadened the prevailing wage standard by redefining public work from "Fixed works of construction for public use" to include work "Paid for in whole or in part out of public funds." What does economic theory suggest that the effects of this change will have on union-density rates and earnings?
5.
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In November 2007, frictions between the League of American Theatres and Producers and the stagehands Local One boiled over into a strike, resulting in the lights on Broadway going out for 19 days. Richard Frankel (a producer and general manager of Young Frankenstein) lamented, "[W]e cannot hire the number of men we [the producers] need, we have to hire the number of men [the Union tells] us to hire." What factors account for the union's instance on controlling employment levels?
6.
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If the average unionized professor earns $60K per annum and the average nonunionized professor earns $75K per annum, then can it be concluded that the union lowers the earnings of unionized professors?
7.
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Suppose that the wages of a group of union workers are and those of a statistically similar group of nonunion workers are . What are the primary pitfalls in attempting to use the wage gap to infer the causal effect of unions on earnings?
8.
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Some evidence suggests that trade unions may increase productivity levels. What mechanisms might account for this?
9.
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Suppose that in Worked Problem 18.2 on page 642 there are a total of 120 workers who supply their labor inelastically (instead of 100). How does this change the results?

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