Freeman, Richard B.

2018
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.
2017
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.
The Effects of Scientists and Engineers on Productivity and Earnings at the Establishment Where They Work
Erling Barth, James C. Davis, Richard B. Freeman, and Andrew J. Wang. 6/2017. “The Effects of Scientists and Engineers on Productivity and Earnings at the Establishment Where They Work.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, No. 23484. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This paper uses linked establishment-firm-employee data to examine the relationship between the scientists and engineers proportion (SEP) of employment, and productivity and labor earnings. We show that: (1) most scientists and engineers in industry are employed in establishments producing goods or services, and do not perform research and development (R&D); (2) productivity is higher in manufacturing establishments with higher SEP, and increases with increases in SEP; (3) employee earnings are higher in manufacturing establishments with higher SEP, and increase substantially for employees who move to establishments with higher SEP, but only modestly for employees within an establishment when SEP increases in the establishment. The results suggest that the work of scientists and engineers in goods and services producing establishments is an important pathway for increasing productivity and earnings, separate and distinct from the work of scientists and engineers who perform R&D.
2016
Who Owns the Robots Rules the World: The deeper threat of robotization
Richard Freeman. 5/2016. “Who Owns the Robots Rules the World: The deeper threat of robotization.” Harvard Magazine. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We should worry less about the potential displacement of human labor by robots than about how to share fairly across society the prosperity that the robots produce.
“How Does Declining Unionism Affect the American Middle Class and Inter-generational Mobility?”
Richard B. Freeman, Eunice Han, Brendan Duke, and David Madland. 2016. ““How Does Declining Unionism Affect the American Middle Class and Inter-generational Mobility?”.” Federal Reserve Bank, 2015 Community Development Research Conference Publication.Abstract
This paper examines unionism’s relationship to the size of the middle class and its
relationship to intergenerational mobility. Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) 1985
and 2011 files are used to examine the change in the share of workers in a middle-income
group (defined by persons having incomes within 50 percent of the median) and use a
shift-share decomposition to explore how the decline of unionism contributes to the
shrinking middle class. The files are also used to investigate the correlation between
parents’ union status and the incomes of their children. Additionally, federal income tax
data is used to examine the geographical correlation between union density and
intergenerational mobility. Findings include that union workers are disproportionately in
the middle-income group or above, and some reach middle-income status due to the
union wage premium; the offspring of union parents have higher incomes than the
offspring of otherwise comparable non-union parents, especially when the parents are
low-skilled; and offspring from communities with higher union density have higher
average incomes relative to their parents compared to offspring from communities with
lower union density. These findings show a strong, though not necessarily causal, link
between unions, the middle class, and intergenerational mobility. 
It’s Where You Work: Increases in the Dispersion of Earnings across Establishments and Individuals in the United States.
Erling Barth, Alex Bryson, James C. Davis, and Richard B. Freeman. 2016. “It’s Where You Work: Increases in the Dispersion of Earnings across Establishments and Individuals in the United States..” Journal of Labor Economics, Special Issue dedicated to Edward Lazear, 34, S2, Pp. S67-S97. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This paper analyzes the role of establishments in the upward trend in dispersion of earnings that has become a central topic in economic analysis and policy debate. It decomposes changes in the variance of log earnings among individuals into the part due to changes in earnings among establishments and the part due to changes in earnings within establishments. The main finding is that much of the 1970s–2010s increase in earnings inequality results from increased dispersion of the earnings among the establishments where individuals work. Our results direct attention to the role of establishment-level pay setting and economic adjustments in earnings inequality.

2015
Richard B. Freeman and Xiaoying Li. 12/2015. “How Does China’s New Labor Contract Law Affect Floating Workers?.” British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 53, 4, Pp. 711-735. PDF VersionAbstract
China’s new Labor Contract Law took effect on January 2008 and required firms to give migrant workers written contracts, strengthened labor protections for workers and contained penalties for firms that did not follow the labor code. This paper uses survey data of migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta before and after the law and a retrospective question on when workers received their first labor contract to assess the effects of the law on labor outcomes. The evidence shows that the new law increased the percentage of migrant workers with written contracts, which in turn raised social insurance coverage, reduced the likelihood of wage arrears, and raised the likelihood that the worker had a union at their workplace.
Capitalism for the Rest of Us
Joseph R. Blasi, Richard B. Freeman, and Douglas L. Kruse. 7/17/2015. “Capitalism for the Rest of Us.” New York Times Op-Ed. Publisher's Version
Richard B. Freeman. 6/24/2015. “Knowledge, Knowledge. Knowledge for My Economy.” KDI Journal of Economic Policy, vol. 37, (2), Pp. 1-21. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The creation of S&T knowledge and development of S&T- based innovation has spread worldwide from traditionally advanced countries to traditionally developing countries, often under the direction of governments. Korea is an exemplar in this new locus. 
China’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ in Science and Engineering
Richard B. Freeman and Wei Huang. 2015. “China’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ in Science and Engineering.” In Global Mobility of Research Scientists: The Economics of Who Goes Where and Why, edited by Aldo Geuna. (Elsevier. PFD Version
NBER Working Paper #21081 (April 2015).
Immigration, International Collaboration, and Innovation: Science and Technology Policy in the Global Economy
Richard B. Freeman. 2015. “Immigration, International Collaboration, and Innovation: Science and Technology Policy in the Global Economy .” In NBER book: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 15, edited by William R. Kerr, Josh Lerner, and Scott Stern, Pp. 153 - 175. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Globalization of scientific and technological knowledge has reduced the US share of world scientific activity; increased the foreign-born proportion of scientists and engineers in US universities and in the US labor market; and led to greater US scientific collaborations with other countries. China's massive investments in university education and R&D have in particular made it a special partner for the US in scientific work. These developments have substantial implications for US science and technology policy. This paper suggests that aligning immigration policies more closely to the influx of international students; granting fellowships to students working on turning scientific and technological into commercial innovations; and requiring firms with R&D tax credits or other government R&D funding develop "impact plans" to use their new knowledge to produce innovative products or processes in the US could help the country adjust to the changing global world of science and technology.
Richard B. Freeman. 2015. Workers Ownership and Profit-Sharing in a New Capitalist Model?. Swedish Trade Union Confederation. Publisher's Version
2013
The Citizen's Share: Putting Ownership Back into Democracy
Richard B. Freeman, Joseph R. Blasi, and Douglas Kruse. 2013. The Citizen's Share: Putting Ownership Back into Democracy. Yale University Press.
2012
What Happened to Shared Prosperity and Full Employment and How to Get Them Back: a Seussian Perspective
Richard B. Freema. 11/12/2012. “What Happened to Shared Prosperity and Full Employment and How to Get Them Back: a Seussian Perspective.” In Reconnecting to Work -- Policies to Mitigate Long-Term Unemployment and Its Consequences , edited by Lauren D. Appelbaum, Pp. vii-xviii Foreword. W.E. Upjohn Institute. Publisher's Version
Richard B. Freeman and Marit Rehavi. 2012. How the Internet is Changing the Activity of Union Representatives in the UK: A study of www.unionreps.org.uk.
2010
Richard B. Freeman. 10/28/2010. “What Can We Learn from NLRA to Create Labor Law for the 21st Century?.” In SYMPOSIUM: The National Labor Relations Act at 75: Its Legacy and its Future. PDF Version
Richard B. Freeman. 5/26/2010. “IT'S FINANCIALIZATION!.” International Labour Review,, Vol. 149, 2. PDF Version
2009
Richard B. Freeman and Marit Rehavi. 2009. “Helping Workers Online and Offline: Innovations in Union and Worker Organization Using the Internet..” In Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, edited by DAVID H. AUTOR. Chicago: University of Chicago 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

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