ILR School

ILR Book Reviews

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The centrality of the workplace in an increasingly complex world is the primary focus at ILR. With its diverse and distinguished faculty, the school leads the way towards new insights about current and future challenges. Faculty expertise ranges across the workplace-related social science disciplines, including economics, sociology, history, psychology, political science, law, and statistical analysis. Cutting-edge research, excellence in teaching, and commitment to outreach remain ILR's defining characteristics.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 97
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    Review of the book [The marketing of higher education: The price of the university's soul]
    Lieberwitz, Risa L. (Cornell University, 2004)
    [Excerpt] These commercialization trends have been the focus of recent scholarly commentary from such fields as history, sociology, education, and law. Derek Bok, former President of Harvard University and former Dean of Harvard Law School, joins the debate in his book Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education, inquiring "why this [commercialization] trend has developed, what dangers it poses for universities, and how academic leaders can act to limit the risk to their institutions." Bok defines commercialization as "efforts within the university to make a profit from teaching, research, and other campus activities.' He begins his study of commercialization trends with the oldest of commercialized university activities athletics-and then expands the discussion to include more recent commercial activities that involve research and teaching.
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    Book Review: L’organisation international du travail et le BIT
    Compa, Lance (University of Illinois College of Law, 2022)
    [Excerpt] The re-issuance of Georges Scelle’s seminal L’organisation international du travail et le BIT (The International Labor Organization and the International Labor Office) nearly a century after its initial publication provides a new and timely look at early work on the challenge of creating global labor standards.
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    Book Review: Steelworkers Rank and File
    Hirsch, Mike (1984-06-01)
    [Excerpt] Phil Nyden has established a reputation as a scholar with a deep personal commitment to the prospects of a genuine, grass-roots-based militant unionism. With a sensitivity too rare among outside observers, Nyden tries to draw lessons based on the actual experiences of the rank-and-file, in terms of how they understand their situation and the strategies they develop. While this book is not without its problems, it represents must reading for union activists as well as labor educators, researchers and friends of the labor movement.
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    Book Review: Concessions - and how to beat them
    Metzgar, Jack (1984-06-01)
    [Excerpt] As the title of her book indicates, Jane Slaughter is not afraid to be didactic. This valuable handbook, written for secondary leaders and rank-and-file activists, not only provides a history and sum-up of the concessions experience through the Spring of 1983. It articulates a set of principles and strategies for "how to beat them."
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    Review of the Book 'Wage Indexation in the United States: Cola or Uncola?'
    Ehrenberg, Ronald G. (1986-01-01)
    [Excerpt] Hendricks and Kahn's book is a major contribution to the literature on wage indexation. The authors, together with a team of graduate assistants, have painstakingly put together a data file from Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of National Affairs sources that covers over 10,000 individual contract negotiations during the 1967-82 period. A major portion of their book is devoted to econometric analyses of these data; specifically, analyses of the determinants of COLA incidence, the determinants of COLA strength, the effect of COLAs on wage inflation, and the effect of COLAs on strike activity. Earlier versions of some of these analyses have appeared in previous publications by the authors, but there is enough new material here to hold the interest of even the well-read reader.
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    Review of the Book 'Unemployment Insurance: The Second Half-Century'
    Ehrenberg, Ronald G. (1991-04-01)
    [Excerpt] This extraordinary volume is one that all people interested in the unemployment insurance (Ul) system will want to read. Although research on a wide variety of aspects of the Ul system has been published in many articles and monographs in recent years, this volume represents an attempt to summarize what is known about many aspects of the subject in one place, to provide some new findings, and to speculate about future research and policy directions. The thirteen included papers, written by a mix of scholars and practitioners, are revisions of a set of papers that were originally presented at a 1986 conference.
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    Review of the Book 'The Economic Analysis of Unions: New Approaches and Evidence'
    Ehrenberg, Ronald G. (1987-01-01)
    [Excerpt] This book surveys, synthesizes, and critically analyzes the rapidly growing theoretical and empirical literature on unions and dispute resolution. The focus is primarily on the United States literature, although references to studies from Canada and the United Kingdom are also included. That the survey is complete and up-to-date is suggested by the thirty pages of references at the end of the book; a number of these are to papers that are still awaiting publication. The authors present a remarkably balanced treatment and, for the most part, do not allow their own ideological orientation toward unions to influence their analyses.
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    Review of the Book 'The Davis-Bacon Act'
    Ehrenberg, Ronald G. (1976-07-01)
    [Excerpt] Armand J. Thieblot's monograph is not the first study of the administration and impact of the Davis-Bacon Act; however, it certainly is the most comprehensive. Successive chapters of the book consider the history of the act, definitions and interpretations of key words in the legislation, its current administrative organization and enforcement, experience under it (including improper wage determinations), and its costs and inflationary impact. A set of case studies are then presented to document the existence of improper and excessive wage determinations. Finally, the book concludes with a discussion of the original rationale of the Davis-Bacon Act and its current-day relevance, a survey of contractors reporting their views of the act, and a set of conclusions and recommendations.
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    Review of the Book 'The Cost of Talent: How Executives and Professionals are Paid and How it Affects America'
    Ehrenberg, Ronald G. (1995-03-01)
    [Excerpt] Why should the former President of Harvard University be concerned that during the 1970s and 1980s the earnings of doctors, lawyers in private practice, and top corporate executives grew substantially relative to the earnings of professors, teachers, and high level federal civil servants? Why should he care that physicians with specialized hospital-based practices, such as neurosurgeons, have seen their earnings rise substantially relative to physicians practicing family medicine during the same period? In each case, the answer is that Bok believes that occupational choices are determined, at least at the margin, by the pecuniary and nonpecuniary benefits that the various professions offer. Thus, he fears that the growing earnings differentials have diverted America's "best and brightest" away from occupations that he considers vitally important for our society, the professoriate, teaching, the federal civil service, and primary care medicine. Given this belief, his goal is to put forth a menu of reforms that might induce an increased supply of talented individuals to these occupations.
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    Review of the book 'The Chinese Worker After Socialism'
    Friedman, Eli D. (2010-09-01)
    In The Chinese Worker after Socialism, William Hurst employs subnational comparison to explain different outcomes for workers in the process of reform of state-owned industry in China. In particular, Hurst provides in-depth analysis of regional variation of the sequencing and volume of layoffs, how the local state attempted to handle unemployment, actual outcomes in re-employment, and the dynamics of worker protest. By taking subnational regions as the unit of analysis, we see that the process of "smashing the iron rice bowl" has not been a unified and coherent project but rather one that has been messy, uneven, and subject to great variation in timing and outcomes. This variation is explained by differences in the political economy of each region.