Freeman, Richard B.

Ashley Nunes, Laurena Huh, Nicole Kagan, and Richard B. Freeman. 8/9/2021. “Estimating the energy impact of electric, autonomous taxis: Evidence from a select market”. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Electric, autonomous vehicles promise to address technical consumption inefficiencies associated with gasoline use and reduce emissions. Potential realization of this prospect has prompted considerable interest and investment in the technology. Using publicly available data from a select market, we examine the magnitude of the envisioned benefits and the determinants of the financial payoff of investing in a tripartite innovation in motor vehicle transportation: vehicle electrification, vehicle automation, and vehicle sharing. In contrast to previous work, we document that 1) the technology's envisioned cost effectiveness may be impeded by previously unconsidered parameters, 2) the inability to achieve cost parity with the status quo does not necessarily preclude net increases in energy consumption and emissions, 3) these increases are driven primarily by induced demand and mode switches away from pooled personal vehicles, and 4) the aforementioned externalities may be mitigated by leveraging a specific set of technological, behavioral and logistical pathways. We quantify – for the first time – the thresholds required for each of these pathways to be effective and demonstrate that pathway stringency is largely influenced by heterogeneity in trip timing behavior. We conclude that enacting these pathways is crucial to fostering environmental stewardship absent impediments in economic mobility.
From Immigrants to Robots: The Changing Locus of Substitutes for Workers
Richard B. Freeman and George J. Borjas. 1/2019. “From Immigrants to Robots: The Changing Locus of Substitutes for Workers”. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Increased use of robots has roused concern about how robots and other new technologies change the world of work. Using numbers of robots shipped to primarily manufacturing industries as a supply shock to an industry labor market, we estimate that an additional robot reduces employment and wages in an industry by roughly as much as an additional 2 to 3 workers and by 3 to 4 workers in particular groups, which far exceed estimated effects of an additional immigrant on employment and wages. While the growth of robots in the 1996-2016 period of our data was too modest to be a major determinant of wages and employment, the estimated coefficients suggest that continued exponential growth of robots could disrupt job markets in the foreseeable future and thus merit attention from labor analysts.
U.S. Engineering in a Global Economy: National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report
5/4/2018. U.S. Engineering in a Global Economy: National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report, Pp. 320. University of Chicago Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Since the late 1950s, the engineering job market in the United States has been fraught with fears of a shortage of engineering skill and talent. U.S. Engineering in a Global Economy brings clarity to issues of supply and demand in this important market. Following a general overview of engineering-labor market trends, the volume examines the educational pathways of undergraduate engineers and their entry into the labor market, the impact of engineers working in firms on productivity and innovation, and different dimensions of the changing engineering labor market, from licensing to changes in demand and guest worker programs.

The volume provides insights on engineering education, practice, and careers that can inform educational institutions, funding agencies, and policy makers about the challenges facing the United States in developing its engineering workforce in the global economy.
Willingness to Pay for Clean Air in China
Richard Freeman, Wenquan Liang, Ran Song, and Christopher Timmins. 12/2017. “Willingness to Pay for Clean Air in China”. NBER Working PaperAbstract
We develop a residential sorting model incorporating migration disutility to recover the implicit value of clean air in China. The model is estimated using China Population Census Data along with PM2.5 satellite data. Our study provides new evidence on the willingness to pay for air quality improvement in developing countries and is the first application of an equilibrium sorting model to the valuation of non-market amenities in China. We employ two novel instrumental variables based on coal-fired electricity generation and wind direction to address the endogeneity of local air pollution. Results suggest important differences between the residential sorting model and a conventional hedonic model, highlighting the role of moving costs and the discreteness of the choice set. Our sorting results indicate that the economic value of air quality improvement associated with a one-unit decline in PM2.5 concentration is up to $8.83 billion for all Chinese households in 2005.
What Workers Want
Joel Rogers and Richard B. Freeman. 2006. What Workers Want. Russell Sage Foundation and ILR Press.Abstract
 This updated edition of What Workers Want keeps the core text and chapter structure of the first edition (Chapters 1-7 in the current book), while eliminating its appendices. The appendices reported the methodology, telephone questionnaires, and written materials used in the two waves of the Worker Representation and Participation Survey (WRPS), all of which is no available online at That site also offers an integrated dataset of all findings, ready for download by interested researchers, and links to other national surveys, modeled on the WRPS, conducted since.
New to the updated edition are a new introduction and conclusion. The Introduction examines how our original findings stand up in light of the survey research that others have done since the WRPS. The Conclusion offers suggestions on how to reform our labor relations system so that it delivers to workers what they want in the form of workplace representation and participation.
Why Do We Work More than Keynes Expected?
Richard B. Freeman. 2008. “Why Do We Work More than Keynes Expected?” In Revisiting Keynes: Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren, edited by Lorenzo Pecchi and Gustavo Piga. Vol. Chapter 9. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Shared Capitalism: at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options. (Freeman R, Blasi J, Kruse D). University of Chicago Press; 2009.
2009. Shared Capitalism: at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options. (Freeman R, Blasi J, Kruse D). University of Chicago Press; 2009. , Pp. 432. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Abstract

The historical relationship between capital and labor has evolved in the past few decades. One particularly noteworthy development is the rise of shared capitalism, a system in which workers have become partial owners of their firms and thus, in effect, both employees and stockholders. Profit sharing arrangements and gain-sharing bonuses, which tie compensation directly to a firm’s performance, also reflect this new attitude toward labor.

Shared Capitalism at Work analyzes the effects of this trend on workers and firms. The contributors focus on four main areas: the fraction of firms that participate in shared capitalism programs in the United States and abroad, the factors that enable these firms to overcome classic free rider and risk problems, the effect of shared capitalism on firm performance, and the impact of shared capitalism on worker well-being. This volume provides essential studies for understanding the increasingly important role of shared capitalism in the modern workplace.

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report
Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment
2009. Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment, Pp. 408. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Abstract

Beginning in the early 2000s, there was an upsurge of national concern over the state of the science and engineering job market that sparked a plethora of studies, commission reports, and a presidential initiative, all stressing the importance of maintaining American competitiveness in these fields. Science and Engineering Careers in the United States is the first major academic study to probe the issues that underlie these concerns.

This volume provides new information on the economics of the postgraduate science and engineering job market, addressing such topics as the factors that determine the supply of PhDs, the career paths they follow after graduation, and the creation and use of knowledge as it is reflected by the amount of papers and patents produced. A distinguished team of contributors also explores the tensions between industry and academe in recruiting graduates, the influx of foreign-born doctorates, and the success of female doctorates. Science and Engineering Careers in the United States will raise new questions about stimulating innovation and growth in the American economy

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report