Regulating Labor

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RegBlog commemorates Labor Day by highlighting connections between regulation and employment.

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As Americans gather for their annual Labor Day celebration today, here at The Regulatory Review we pause to reflect on the relationship between regulation and labor.  Regulation obviously can protect workers on the job, but it can also affect the relationships between labor and management and even help shape the global labor market – often with both large costs and benefits to society.   Policymakers, activists, and experts continue to disagree on the appropriate strength and scope of labor market regulations – as well as about the extent to which regulations more generally might hamper job growth by burdening business with excessive costs.
Many of The Regulatory Review’s contributors have been part of the important debate over regulation and employment.  For example, PPR’s Executive Director, Adam Finkel, a former high-ranking official at the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has argued that OSHA should increase its efforts to prevent health problems caused by long-term exposure to toxic chemicals.  He has also urged occupational safety and health regulators to use statistical analysis to improve their targeting of workplace safety violations.
A range of other The Regulatory Review contributors have debated the effects of regulation on job growth and the labor markets.  Later this year, the Penn Program on Regulation will see the release of its third policy impact book, Does Regulation Kill Jobs?  (University of Pennsylvania Press), that speaks directly to this salient policy question.
Finally, all around the world, tragic workplace disasters unfortunately continue to remind us of the need for improved labor standards.  In a recent The Regulatory Review essay, Harvard University’s Jennifer Nash has thoughtfully explored the relationship between international labor standards and worker safety in Bangladesh, for example.
In honor of Labor Day here in the United States, The Regulatory Review offers our readers a handy set of links to several of our recent essays exploring worker safety, labor markets, and employment.
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            by Jennifer Nash – July 16, 2013
by Brady Sullivan – April 22, 2013
by Cary Coglianese – April 8, 2013
by Adam Finkel – April 4, 2013
by Maxwell Blum – January 9, 2013
by Peter L. Strauss – January 3, 2013
by Donald R. Arbuckle – November 26, 2012
by Alisa Melekhina – October 15, 2012
by Johan Eklund and Björn Falkenhall – September 24, 2012