Essays in Labor Economics

Thumbnail Image

Persistent link to this item

View Statistics

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Essays in Labor Economics

Published Date




Thesis or Dissertation


In the United States, there are many important policy issues around labor markets. These issues range from country-wide issues being debated in the national media to local-level issues being debated in city councils. The three chapters in this dissertation are motivated by issues that span this gamut. The first chapter investigates the effects of skill distribution change and skill-biased technical change on U.S. private sector union coverage over the last four decades. Understanding why unions declined in the past could shed light on how their importance will change in the future and how union coverage might evolve in response to policy change. The second chapter studies the local labor market effects of recent Access-to-Hours and Just Cause policies for New York City fast food workers. This analysis could help policymakers as similar legislation is considered across the country. The third chapter studies the potential effect of increasing college graduates on the labor force participation of working-age Americans without a college degree. Understanding the unintended consequences of college expansion is crucial, especially as further expansion is considered.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2023. Major: Economics. Advisor: David Rahman. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 207 pages.

Related to




Series/Report Number

Funding information

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

Previously Published Citation

Suggested citation

Pickens, Joseph. (2023). Essays in Labor Economics. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.