Publications

2017
Miscimarra’s Parting Shot: Was It a December Massacre?
Sharon Block. 12/19/2017. “Miscimarra’s Parting Shot: Was It a December Massacre?” onLabor.org. Publisher's Version
TRUMP WANTS YOU TO TIP RESTAURANT OWNERS, NOT SERVERS
Sharon Block and Christine Owens. 12/7/2017. “TRUMP WANTS YOU TO TIP RESTAURANT OWNERS, NOT SERVERS.” Newsweek.org. Publisher's Version
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Sharon Block and Terri Gerstein. 12/2/2017. “We need an agenda for new laws to prevent sexual harassment.” The Guardian. Publisher's Version
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 Harvey Weinstein Has To Teach Us About the Weakness of Our Laws
Sharon Block. 11/28/2017. “What Harvey Weinstein Has To Teach Us About the Weakness of Our Laws.” OnLabor.org. Publisher's Version
Backhanded Compliment: Acosta Threatens Workers Centers
Sharon Block. 11/20/2017. “Backhanded Compliment: Acosta Threatens Workers Centers.” onLabor.org. Publisher's Version
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Celine McNicholas and Sharon Block. 11/16/2017. “Supreme Court will decide if women can join together to fight sexual harassment at work.” American Constitution Society .Abstract
Today, 24.7 million American workers have been forced to sign contracts that, as a condition of employment, require them to waive their rights to joining a class action lawsuit to address sexual harassment and other workplace disputes—instead these workers must act alone to resolve what is often systemic violations of employment protections. The National Labor Relations Board has determined that these arbitration agreements violate workers’ right under the National Labor Relations Act to join together for “mutual aid and protection.” Business interests—and the Trump administration—disagree. In Murphy Oil, the Supreme Court will decide whether workers have the right to come together to protect themselves from workplace issues like sexual harassment. The case could not be more relevant, or present the Justices with two more starkly divergent options.
It should be illegal to fire the cyclist who gave Trump the finger
BENJAMIN SACHS. 11/8/2017. “It should be illegal to fire the cyclist who gave Trump the finger.” Washington Post. Publisher's Version
We can't stop sexual harassment until we restructure corporate boards
Sharon Block. 11/7/2017. “We can't stop sexual harassment until we restructure corporate boards.” Quartz at Work. Publisher's Version
Autocracy at Work: Understanding the Gothamist Shut Down
Sharon Block and BENJAMIN SACHS. 11/6/2017. “Autocracy at Work: Understanding the Gothamist Shut Down.” onLabor.org. Publisher's Version
Firms as Political Entities: Saving Democracy through Economic Bicameralism
ISABELLE FERRERAS. 10/25/2017. Firms as Political Entities: Saving Democracy through Economic Bicameralism. New York: Cambridge University Press.Abstract

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A Narrow Preemption Exception
Sharon Block. 10/23/2017. “A Narrow Preemption Exception.” onlabor.org. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In Airline Service Providers Association v. City of Los Angeles, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the contractors’ complaint, finding that the city’s contract clause was not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, even though it clearly constituted a local government influencing the bargaining process between a private sector actor and the collective bargaining representative of its employees.  The court found such influence or interference tolerable by a municipal actor because it determined that the city was acting as a “market participant” not as a “regulator”.
Corporate Disclosure of Human Capital Metrics
Aaron Bernstein and Larry Beeferman. 10/19/2017. Corporate Disclosure of Human Capital Metrics. Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We find majorities or significant minorities of the largest global corporations collect a variety of human capital (HC) metrics of increasing interest to institutional investors. These averages mask a sharp dichotomy between metrics disclosed publicly and those reported by respondents to an annual survey of nearly 2,000 of the largest firms traded on global exchanges. For example, about half of these companies report the average hours of training they provided to employees annually. But the figure was dramatically higher for respondents, at 84 percent, versus just 18 percent of firms assessed using public reporting. Similarly, while 52 percent of firms publicly report employee fatalities, 96 percent of survey respondents disclosed the metrics, but only 17 percent of publicly assessed companies. Comparable differentials were found across other measures. The findings suggest that investors could gain access to HC data that is material to financial performance if they request public disclosure of information already gathered by a critical mass of large corporations in major markets. However, the reporting differs among regions and countries such as the United States and Great Britain, as well as between large market cap companies compared with smaller ones.
BENJAMIN SACHS and NOAH ZATZ. 10/17/2017. “The Law Is on the N.F.L. Players’ Side.” New York Times Op-Ed. Publisher's Version
Standing or Kneeling: Who Can File a Charge Under the NLRA
Sharon Block. 10/16/2017. “Standing or Kneeling: Who Can File a Charge Under the NLRA”. Publisher's Version
America's workers deserve to get paid for burning the midnight oil
PATRICIA SMITH and Sharon Block. 10/13/2017. “America's workers deserve to get paid for burning the midnight oil.” The HIll. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Will the Labor Department appeal a judge’s recent decision that could deny overtime pay to millions of Americans? Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has been clear that he doesn’t like the Obama administration’s overtime rule, insisting that he wants to reconsider it and possibly make one of his own. But he needs to appeal the judge’s decision regardless, otherwise he’s creating uncertainty that isn’t good for anyone.
Benching Anthem Protesters is Illegal
Benjamin I. Sachs. 10/12/2017. “Benching Anthem Protesters is Illegal.” OnLabor.
Trump wants to make America great again by using the Supreme Court to gut the rights of non-union workers
Benjamin I. Sachs and Sharon Block. 9/28/2017. “Trump wants to make America great again by using the Supreme Court to gut the rights of non-union workers.” Quartz. Online VersionAbstract
The Trump Administration is waging a quiet war on workers. The effort involves anti-union appointments to federal agencies, repeal of Obama-era regulations that were designed to raise the wages of low and middle income workers, and support for anti-worker legislation in Congress.
Is it Time to End Labor Preemption?
Sharon Block and BENJAMIN SACHS. 9/11/2017. “Is it Time to End Labor Preemption?” onLabor.org. Publisher's Version
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Tanya Goldman and Sharon Block. 9/6/2017. “Message To Uber’s New CEO: Don’t Forget Your Drivers.” Huffington Post. Publisher's Version

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