Daniel F. Jacoby
Examines issues in the changing arena of labor and human resource policy.
This version of BPOLST 584 covers US Labor Policies with respect to unions and schools.
Contemporary Labor Policies; Unions, Education and Technology
Union membership in the US has dropped from its high of roughly one-third of the labor force after WWII to less than 12% today. On the other hand, college completion has risen to roughly the same level as peak unionization. In this course we examine how organized labor is still relevant, or whether it has become unnecessary in our education and technology driven economy. To do that we'll look at how labor law has developed and why some believe it has limited the success of labor. At the same time, we'll also look at current issues from current attacks on public sector unionism (in Wisconsin and elsewhere) and new methods of organizing for the new economy. We'll be sure to take on questions about teacher unions as well as other skilled markets.
Student learning goals
Define core issues in labor markets, especially unions and schooling.
To understand why labor is different from other economic commodities.
To consider whether democracy in the workplace is necessary, and why or how US law and labor institutions promote that.
To use legal and economic analysis to examine the roles that skill and organization play in the labor market and to understand policies that promote or retard investment in skills.
To consider the efficiency and equity of labor market outcomes in the US.
Graduate Students will be expected to assume leadership roles in class projects.
General method of instruction
Seminar involve will blend project, texts, and discussion.
Likely to require additional attendance at one or more guest lecture and site visit.
Background in policy studies (at least the equivalent to BPOLST 500) highly recommended.
Class assignments and grading
In addition to standard assignments for the class, graduate students will write a 10-15 page term paper.