Government Unions in the United States

Thursday, October 13th - Friday, October 14th, 2011

Agenda

This conference is organized by Max Schanzenbach, Director, Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth and Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, and John O. McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law.

The goal of this conference is to foster the study of the broad effects of public sector unions on state and local government in the United States. To this end, the conference will (1) generate research on public sector unions in the United States; (2) create a forum for a discussion of the research across a broad group of interdisciplinary scholars; and (3) disseminate the research to both the academic community, journalists, and policy makers, both legislative and executive.

Participants

  • Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
  • Andrew G. Biggs, Resident Scholar, The American Enterprise Institute
  • Barry Bluestone, Russell B. and Andree B. Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy; Director, Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy; Dean in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University
  • David Crane, Lecturer, Stanford University Regent, University of California and Former Special Advisor for Jobs and Economic Growth, Office of the Governor, State of California
  • Daniel DiSalvo, Assistant Professor of Political Science, The City College of New York
  • Cynthia Estlund, Catherine A. Rein Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Samuel Estreicher, Dwight D. Opperman Professor of Law and Director, Center for Labor and Employment Law, New York University School of Law
  • Richard B. Freeman, Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics, Harvard University and Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.
  • Barry Hirsch, W.J. Usery Chair of the American Workplace, Department of Economics and Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Richard Hynes, Professor of Law and Director, John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Thomas A. Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, Professor of Engineering Systems and Co-director, Institute for Work and Employment Research, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • John O. McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • E.J. McMahon, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Empire Center for NYS Policy,
  • Amy B. Monahan, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Law School
  • David Neumark, Professor of Economics and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine
  • Robert Novy-Marx, Assistant Professor of Finance, Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester
  • Joshua Rauh, Associate Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
  • Max Schanzenbach, Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, University of Pennsylvania School of Law

Papers

Session One - The Evolution of Public Sector Unions in the United States

"Causes and Consequences of the War Against Public Sector Unions"
Richard B. Freeman, Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics, Harvard University and Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School
PowerPoint Presentation

"The Political Origins of Public Employee Unionism in the American States, 1959-1984"
Daniel DiSalvo, Assistant Professor of Political Science, The City College of New York

"An Anatomy of Public Sector Unions in the United States"
Background Paper: "Unions, Dynamism, and Economic Performance"
Barry Hirsch, W.J. Usery Chair of the American Workplace, Department of Economics and Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University
PowerPoint Presentation

Session Two - Estimating the Costs of Public Unions

"Measuring Pension Liabilities"
Background Paper: "Public Pension Promises: How Big are They and What are They Worth?"
Robert Novy-Marx, Assistant Professor of Finance, Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester
PowerPoint Presentation

"The Costs and Revenue Demands of Public Employee Pensions"
Background Paper: "The Revenue Demands of Public Employee Pension Promises"
Joshua Rauh, Associate Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
PowerPoint Presentation

"Return Assumptions on Pension Fund Assets and their Implications"
Background Paper: "The Origins and Severity of the Public Pension Crisis"
Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
PowerPoint Presentation

"The Effect of Pension Accounting on Public/Private Sector Pay Comparisons"
Andrew G. Biggs, Resident Scholar, The American Enterprise Institute
PowerPoint Presentation

Session Three - The Law and Economics of State and Municipal Obligations to Employees

"States, Bankruptcy, and the Contracts Clause"
Richard Hynes, Professor of Law and Director, John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics, University of Virginia School of Law

"The Legacy of New York City's Brush with Bankruptcy"
Background Paper: "Gotham's Fiscal Crisis: Lessons Unlearned"
E.J. McMahon, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Empire Center for NYS Policy

"Statutes as Contracts? The California Rule and its Impact on Public Pension Reform"
Amy B. Monahan, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Law School

"State Bankruptcy Lessons for and from the Eurozone"
David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
Written Testimony of David A. Skeel, Jr., Before the Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs
"States of Bankruptcy" (Introduction)
"States of Bankruptcy" (Full Paper)
PowerPoint Presentation

Session Four - Public Sector Unions and the Democratic Polity

"Beaches, Sunshine, and Public-Sector Pay: Theory and Evidence on Amenities and Rent Extraction by Government Workers"
David Neumark, Professor of Economics and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine
PowerPoint Presentation

"An Alternative to Wisconsin"
Thomas A. Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, Professor of Engineering Systems and Co-director, Institute for Work and Employment Research, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PowerPoint Presentation

"Public Sector Unions and Public Values in a Democratic Society"
Cynthia Estlund, Catherine A. Rein Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

Session Five - Public Sector Unions: Is Reform Needed and Proposals for Reform

"The Challenge for Public Sector Management"
Samuel Estreicher, Dwight D. Opperman Professor of Law and Director, Center for Labor and Employment Law, New York University School of Law
PowerPoint Presentation

"The 'Enterprise Compact': A New Approach to Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector"
Barry Bluestone, Russell B. and Andree B. Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy; Director, Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy; Dean in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University
PowerPoint Presentation

"Public Unions, Public Goods, and Public Bads"
John O. McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law, Northwestern University School of Law

Contact

For more information regarding this conference or other initiatives of the Searle Center, please call (312) 503-1811 or send an email to searlecenter@law.northwestern.edu.