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Cynthia L. Estlund and Michael L. Wachter

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Edited by Cynthia L. Estlund and Michael L. Wachter

This Research Handbook assembles the original work of leading legal and economic scholars, working in a variety of traditions and methodologies, on the economic analysis of labor and employment law. In addition to surveying the current state of the art on the economics of labor markets and employment relations, the volume’s 16 chapters assess aspects of traditional labor law and union organizing, the law governing the employment contract and termination of employment, employment discrimination and other employer mandates, restrictions on employee mobility, and the forum and remedies for labor and employment claims.
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Cynthia Estlund

Globalization poses daunting challenges to workers’ conventional forms of self-organization, some stemming from the mismatch between national governmental and industrial relations institutions and the increasingly transnational organization and mobility of capital, production, services, and labour. One major challenge posed by globalization, and the focus here, is growing transnational diversity within workplaces and within the workforces of transnational enterprises. Even familiar forms of workplace diversity along lines of national origin, race, culture, and religion can be a source of friction, and can complicate the project of building solidarity and institutions of collective voice. Yet the experience of working together across lines of social division – cooperating, commiserating, and socializing over weeks, months, or years – can help to bridge social divisions, foster connectedness, and facilitate self-organization and solidarity among diverse groups of workers. Globalization further complicates the project of self-organization by adding differences of national citizenship and sometimes language, and by adding distance to the challenge of diversity: Co-workers in transnational enterprises are spread across many countries, and must communicate virtually and remotely rather than face-to-face. In the long run, interaction among workers from different countries may help to lay a foundation for new forms of transnational organizing and worker voice (although the long run might be too long given other mounting challenges to self-organization). In the meantime, whatever their instrumental payoff for workers’ organizations, transnational connectedness and solidarity are worth cultivating for their own sake.