IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Growing Divergence in U.S. Employee Relations: Individualism, Democracy, and Conflict


  • Norlander, Peter


The growing divergence in U.S. employee relations is described through a review of national and state-level changes to employment protection laws. Major employment laws are reviewed, as are the significant exceptions to the laws, and exemptions to the exceptions. Major regulatory actions, as well as reversals of the regulations, and reversals of the reversals are also described. An analysis of changes to state employment policies since 2000 shows an increasing ideologically driven divergence within the country between left-leaning “equity and voice” states and right-leaning “individual rights and efficiency” states. Instability and divergence are major features of the U.S. system of employee relations that require additional scrutiny.

Suggested Citation

  • Norlander, Peter, 2019. "The Growing Divergence in U.S. Employee Relations: Individualism, Democracy, and Conflict," GLO Discussion Paper Series 321, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:321

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Norlander & Todd A Sørensen, 2018. "21st Century Slowdown: The Historic Nature of Recent Declines in the Growth of the Immigrant Population in the United States," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 15(3), pages 409-422, July.
    2. M. J. Piore, 1972. "Notes for a Theory of Labor Market Stratification," Working papers 95, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Arindrajit Dube & T. William Lester & Michael Reich, 2016. "Minimum Wage Shocks, Employment Flows, and Labor Market Frictions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 663-704.
    4. David Brady & Regina Baker & Ryan Finnigan, 2013. "When Unionization Disappears: State-Level Unionization and Working Poverty in the U.S," LIS Working papers 590, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    5. Paul OSTERMAN, 2008. "Improving the quality of low-wage work: The current American experience," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 147(2-3), pages 115-134, June.
    6. James Feigenbaum & Alexander Hertel-Fernandez & Vanessa Williamson, 2018. "From the Bargaining Table to the Ballot Box: Political Effects of Right to Work Laws," NBER Working Papers 24259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Subir K. Chakrabarti & Srikant Devaraj & Pankaj C. Patel, 2021. "Minimum wage and restaurant hygiene violations: Evidence from Seattle," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 42(1), pages 85-99, January.
    2. Marianna Kudlyak & Murat Tasci & Didem Tuzemen, 2019. "Minimum Wage Increases and Vacancies," Working Papers 19-30R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 21 Apr 2022.
    3. Ballot, Gerard, 2002. "Modeling the labor market as an evolving institution: model ARTEMIS," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 51-77, September.
    4. Alan Manning, 2021. "The Elusive Employment Effect of the Minimum Wage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
    5. David Neumark, 2019. "The Econometrics and Economics of the Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Getting from Known Unknowns to Known Knowns," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 20(3), pages 293-329, August.
    6. Lucie Schmidt & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard & Tara Watson, 2020. "The Impact of the ACA Medicaid Expansion on Disability Program Applications," American Journal of Health Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 444-476.
    7. Shirley, Peter, 2018. "The response of commuting patterns to cross-border policy differentials: Evidence from the American Community Survey," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-16.
    8. Brady, David, 2018. "Theories of the Causes of Poverty," SocArXiv jud53, Center for Open Science.
    9. Arindrajit Dube & Attila Lindner, 2021. "City Limits: What Do Local-Area Minimum Wages Do?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 27-50, Winter.
    10. Styhre, Alexander & Bergström, Ola, 2019. "The benefit of market-based governance devices: Reflections on the issue of growing economic inequality as a corporate concern," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 413-420.
    11. Doruk Cengiz & Arindrajit Dube & Attila S. Lindner & David Zentler-Munro, 2021. "Seeing Beyond the Trees: Using Machine Learning to Estimate the Impact of Minimum Wages on Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 28399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Mandelman, Federico & Yu, Yang & Zanetti, Francesco, 2021. "The “Matthew effect” and market concentration: Search complementarities and monopsony power," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 62-90.
    13. Daniele Tavani & Luca Zamparelli, 2020. "Labor-Augmenting Technical Change and the Labor Share: New Microeconomic Foundations," Working Papers 2/20, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    14. Fisayo Fagbemi & Babafemi Oladejo & Opeoluwa A. Adeosun, 2020. "The Effectiveness of Poverty Alleviation Policy: Why is the Quality of Institutions the Bane in Nigeria?," Research Africa Network Working Papers 20/099, Research Africa Network (RAN).
    15. Parker Elliott, 2020. "Migration Patterns in Eastern Europe and the World: A Gravity Approach," South East European Journal of Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 15(1), pages 66-79, June.
    16. Pedro S. Martins, 2021. "30,000 Minimum Wages: The Economic Effects of Collective Bargaining Extensions," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 59(2), pages 335-369, June.
    17. Brown, Jessica H. & Herbst, Chris M., 2023. "Minimum Wage, Worker Quality, and Consumer Well-Being: Evidence from the Child Care Market," IZA Discussion Papers 16257, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. LEDUC Kristell & GENEVOIS Anne-Sophie, 2012. "Segmentation du marché du travail - le cas luxembourgeois," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-35, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
    19. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman & Hyunseob Kim, 2022. "Strong Employers and Weak Employees: How Does Employer Concentration Affect Wages?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 57(S), pages 200-250.
    20. Pestel, Nico & Bonin, Holger & Isphording, Ingo E. & Gregory, Terry & Caliendo, Marco, 2020. "Auswirkungen des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns auf Beschäftigung und Arbeitslosigkeit," IZA Research Reports 95, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item


    Employee relations; employment protection; federalism; divergence;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:321. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.