Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

The Left Orientation of Industrial Relations

by

Download this article

Downloads
1,020 article downloads
1,005 complete issue downloads
Total: 2,025

Abstract

I show that the field known as industrial relations (IR) leans overwhelmingly to the political left. I investigate the voter registration and political contributions of IR researchers, showing overwhelming Democratic Party favor. I construct a data set of participants in the IR field, which contains 920 U.S.-based person-roles (deriving from 709 actual persons). Included are the authors of the 539 research articles published in four periodicals 2009–2013: (1) the annual meeting proceedings volume of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), (2) Industrial and Labor Relations Review, (3) Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, and (4) the Journal of Labor Research. I also include the editors of the periodicals, the officers of LERA, and a sample of LERA’s ordinary members. The data suggests that the ratio of Democratic-to-Republican voter registration among participants in IR is roughly 10 to one. I find a similar ratio when looking at those who have made contributions to Democratic and Republican candidates for office. I also show that Democratic lopsidedness at the three mainstream IR journals becomes more extreme at the higher stations (officers and editors, as opposed to ordinary members and authors). Also, I analyze the content of the 539 articles for union support and regulation support; the mainstream IR journals are overwhelmingly pro-union and pro-regulation.

in

Download this article

Volume (Issue)
Pages
46–74
Published
JEL classification
A11, A14, J5
Keywords
Business schools, employment relations, ideology, sociology of economics
Downloads
1,020 article downloads
1,005 complete issue downloads
Total: 2,025

Discuss this article!