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Title:The Regulation of Work: Seniority Rules and Constrained Choice
Author(s):Schnell, John Franklin
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Economics, Labor
Abstract:The motivation for the assignment of workers by seniority is not well understood; consequently, this thesis analyzes these rules both theoretically and empirically. Unlike much of the current work on seniority which analyzes the impact of this institution on age-earnings profiles or on wage and employment levels, this examination focuses on the firm's allocation problem itself. This basic decision problem is captured as one of assigning heterogeneous workers to different job classifications. The insights produced by a simple model include identifying the situations when a firm will choose to allocate workers according to their seniority, the indirect costs of a seniority-based allocation, and conditions on preferences that motivate workers to demand seniority rules.
A data set, in which the strength accorded seniority in the appropriate clauses of major collective bargaining agreements is identified, is used to estimate the determinants of promotion and layoff seniority rules. Empirical support is found for three types of determinants: the technology of the industry, as distinguished by the use it makes of specific training; personal characteristics of the work force; and the bargaining structure. One specific finding is that even though women and blacks are particularly vulnerable to the last-in-first-out character of a seniority-based allocation scheme, their preferences for these rules appear to be at least as strong, if not stronger, than those of men and whites.
Issue Date:1984
Description:130 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502290
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1984

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