Orley Ashenfelter

First name
Orley
Last name
Ashenfelter
Abstract
The last decade has witnessed a number of remarkable developments in public policy, laws, and law enforcement that are associated with failures of competition in US labor markets. These include: (1) enforcement actions and antitrust lawsuits with regard to explicit conspiracies to suppress competition in labor markets; (2) the documentation and forced abolition of franchise contracts that include worker "no-poaching" clauses; (3) explicit discussion of the regulation of mergers that affect labor market competition; and (4) legislation and regulation that affect "non-compete' and "non-solicit" clauses in employment contracts. In addition, there have been some highly visible examples of explicit collusion in labor markets, and these have raised questions about the extent to which competition has been damaged. This paper covers one such alleged conspiracy to reduce labor market competition among workers in the studio animation industry.3
Year of Publication
2023
Number
657
Date Published
01/2023
Ashenfelter, O., & Gilgenbach, R. (2023). No-Poaching Agreements as Antitrust Violations: Animation Workers Antitrust Litigation. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01z029p802k (Original work published January 2023)
Working Papers
Abstract
The last decade has witnessed a number of remarkable developments in public policy, laws and law enforcement that have been associated with failures of competition in US labour markets. These include: (1) enforcement actions and antitrust law suits regarding explicit conspiracies to suppress competition in labour markets; (2) the documentation and forced abolition of franchise contracts that include worker ‘no-poaching’ clauses; (3) explicit discussion of the regulation of mergers that affect labour market competition; and (4) legislation and regulation affecting ‘non-compete’ and ‘non-solicit’ clauses in employment contracts. In the following, I review the recent developments in public policy. I begin with a deconstruction of a particularly high-level conspiracy to reduce labour market competition in the High-Tech world.
Year of Publication
2023
Number
656
Date Published
06/2023
Ashenfelter, O. (2023). Public policy and labour market competition. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01tq57nv28b (Original work published June 2023)
Working Papers
Abstract

This paper summarizes the results of nearly a dozen new papers presented at the Sundance Conference on Monopsony in Labor Markets held in October 2018.  These papers, to be published as a special issue of the Journal of Human Resources, study various aspects of monopsony and failures of competition in labor markets. It also reports on the new developments in public policies associated with widespread concerns about labor market competition and efforts to ameliorate competitive failures. The conference papers range from studies of the labor supply elasticity individual firms face to studies of local labor market concentration to studies of explicit covenants suppressing labor market competition. New policies range from private and public antitrust litigation to concerns about the effect of mergers and inter-firm agreements on labor market competition. We provide a detailed discussion of the mechanics of the Silicon Valley High Tech Worker conspiracy to suppress competition based on Court documents in the case. Non-compete agreements, which are not enforceable in three states already, have also come under scrutiny.  

Year of Publication
2021
Number
652
Date Published
10/2021
Ashenfelter, O., Card, D., Farber, H., & Ransom, M. R. (2021). Monopsony in the Labor Market New Empirical Results and New Public Policies. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp016m311s43b (Original work published October 2021)
Working Papers
Keywords
Abstract

Based on hourly wage rates from nearly all McDonald’s restaurants, and prices of the Big Mac sandwich, we find an elasticity of the wage with respect to the minimum wage of 0.7. This elasticity does not differ between affected and unaffected restaurants because many restaurants maintain a constant wage ‘premium’ above the minimum wage. Higher minimum wages are not associated with faster adoption of touch-screen ordering, and there is near-full price pass-through of minimum wages. Minimum wages lead to higher real wages (expressed in Big Macs per hour) that are one fifth lower than the corresponding increases in nominal wages.

Year of Publication
2021
Number
646
Date Published
01/2021
Ashenfelter, O., & Jurajda, Štěpán. (2021). Wages, Minimum Wages, and Price Pass-Through: The Case of McDonald’s Restaurants. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01sb397c318 (Original work published January 2021)
Working Papers
Abstract

In this paper we study the long-term labor market implications of school resource equalization
before Brown and school desegregation after Brown. For cohorts born in the South in the 1920s and
1930s, we find that racial disparities in measurable school characteristics had a substantial influence on
black males’ earnings and educational attainment measured in 1970, albeit one that was smaller in the
later cohorts. When we examine the income of male workers in 1990, we find that southern-born blacks
who finished their schooling just before effective desegregation occurred in the South fared poorly
compared to southern-born blacks who followed behind them in school by just a few years.

Year of Publication
2005
Number
501
Date Published
05/2005
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
7919
Ashenfelter, O., Collins, W., & Yoon, A. (2005). Evaluating the Role of Brown vs. Board of Education in School Equalization, Desegregation, and the Income of African Americans. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01ws859f65f (Original work published May 2005)
Working Papers
Keywords
Abstract

Arbitration systems are often used to resolve labor disputes
because on-going employment relationships are likely to contain specific
(human capital) investments. Recent research indicates that the ex ante
acceptability of arbitration to the parties must depend, in part, on the
unpredictability of the arbitrator's award. It is shown that the usual
selection process for arbitrators does imply that arbitrator decisions
should be statistically exchangeable (in the limit), and the evidence
available to date supports this hypothesis.

Year of Publication
1987
Number
219
Date Published
02/1987
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
American Economic Review, Vol. 77, No. 2, May 1987
Ashenfelter, O. (1987). Arbitrator Behavior. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01b5644r54h (Original work published February 1987)
Working Papers
Abstract

Is the correlation between income and educational attainment a result of
the payoff to investments in schooling? Since the experiment of randomly
selecting individuals to go to school cannot be performed, non-experimental
methods must be used to estimate the economic returns to schooling. This
paper reviews new studies that measure the effect of schooling on income (1)
by using comparisons of brothers, fathers and sons, and twins and (2) that
focus on natural experiments. These studies provide very credible evidence
that schooling does increase incomes and that earlier studies may have under-
estimated the role of schooling in determining incomes.

Year of Publication
1991
Number
292
Date Published
11/1991
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
Labour Economics and Productivity, Vol. 6, 1994
Ashenfelter, O. (1991). How Convincing Is The Evidence Linking Education and Income?. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01cf95jb46r (Original work published November 1991)
Working Papers
Year of Publication
1980
Number
138
Date Published
06/1980
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
Economica, Vol. 50, 1983.
Ashenfelter, O., & Layard, R. (1980). Income Policy and Wage Differentials. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01r207tp34d (Original work published June 1980)
Working Papers
Abstract

In this paper we study the role of covenants in franchise contracts that restrict the recruitment and hiring of employees from other units within the same franchise chain in suppressing competition for workers. Based on an analysis of 2016 Franchise Disclosure Documents, we find that "no- poaching of workers agreements" are included in a surprising 58 percent of major franchisors' contracts, including McDonald's, Burger King, Jiffy Lube and H&R Block. The implications of these no-poaching agreements for models of oligopsony are also discussed. No-poaching agreements are more common for franchises in low-wage and high-turnover industries.

Year of Publication
2017
Number
614a
Date Published
09/2017
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
11471
Ashenfelter, O., & Krueger, A. (2017). Theory and Evidence on Employer Collusion in the Franchise Sector. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01z316q447v (Original work published September 2017)
Working Papers
Abstract

Tradeoffs between monetary wealth and fatal safety risks are summarized in the value of a statistical life (VSL), a measure that is widely used for the evaluation of public policies in medicine, the environment, and transportation safety. This paper demonstrates the widespread use of this concept and summarizes the major issues, both theoretical and empirical, that must be confronted in order to provide a credible estimate of a VSL. The paper concludes with an application of these issues to a particular study of speed limits and highway safety.

Year of Publication
2005
Number
505
Date Published
12/2005
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
7920
Ashenfelter, O. (2005). Measuring the Value of a Statistical Life: Problems and Prospects. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01s1784k739 (Original work published December 2005)
Working Papers