Economists are sometimes useful players in the policy debate. While some of us rubber stamp ideas that politicians are eager to implement, there are other economists conducting applied research just because we seek to know the intended and unintended consequences of government regulation. The latter group hopes that our work will be read by powerful people who seek to implement efficient policies. We hope that there are government leaders who “know that they don’t know” how the world works and that this group trusts economists to generate credible empirical models.
With this preamble now completed, here is my recent paper (joint with Erin Mansur) on Right to Work Laws and their consequences for employment. We document that labor intensive industries are attracted to the Right to Work side of the state border.
For those RBC readers who read Cato Institute material, here is a simplified version of Tom Holmes’ paper that started this “border pairs” literature.