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Strikes, Scabs, and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires

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  • Alan B. Krueger
  • Alexandre Mas

Abstract

This paper provides a case study of the effect of labor relations on product quality. We consider whether a long, contentious strike and the hiring of replacement workers at Bridgestone/Firestone's Decatur, Illinois, plant in the mid-1990s contributed to the production of defective tires. Using several independent data sources and looking before and after the strike and across plants, we find that labor strife at the Decatur plant closely coincided with lower product quality. Monthly data suggest that defects were particularly high around the time concessions were demanded and when large numbers of replacement workers and returning strikers worked side by side.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 112 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 253-289

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:112:y:2004:i:2:p:253-289

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  1. Alan B. Krueger & Alexandre Mas, 2004. "Strikes, Scabs, and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 253-289, April.
  2. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  3. Harry C. Katz & Thomas A. Kochan & Kenneth R. Gobeille, 1983. "Industrial relations performance, economic performance, and QWL programs: An interplant analysis," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(1), pages 3-17, October.
  4. Morris M. Kleiner & Jonathan S. Leonard & Adam M. Pilarski, 2002. "How industrial relations affects plant performance: The case of commercial aircraft manufacturing," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(2), pages 195-218, January.
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