CANCELED: The Impact of Increased Unionization and the Employee Free Choice Act on the U.S. Economy
AEI on the Hill
About This Event

Please note: This event has been canceled.

In a new report, noted economist and UCLA professor Lee E. Ohanian analyzes the economic implications of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) on the U.S. economy. EFCA, even without its recently dropped card check provision, is arguably the most significant and controversial proposed change to existing labor law in decades. If passed, it would make it easier for unions to organize by requiring shorter organization campaigns and faster union elections, insert federal control into the mediation and arbitration process, and raise penalties on employers who illegally hinder a union organizing campaign. EFCA supporters assert that this legislation is necessary because it would reverse the decades-long decline in unionization rates and raise the salaries of low-wage workers. Opponents argue that unions decrease profitability, distort markets, and reduce U.S. competitiveness. The real question is whether increased unionization will ultimately help or harm the American workforce and U.S. prosperity.

At this event, Ohanian will disclose his research findings and discuss the potential impact of EFCA on U.S. unemployment rates, GDP, and the overall economy.

11:45 a.m. Registration and Luncheon
12:00 p.m. Introduction: Henry Olsen, AEI
Presenter: Lee E. Ohanian, University of California, Los Angeles
1:00 Adjournment

Speaker biographies

Lee E. Ohanian is a professor of economics and the director of the Ettinger Family Program in Macroeconomic Research at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he codirects the Macroeconomics Across Time and Space working group, and a consultant to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Prior to his post at UCLA, Mr. Ohanian taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Pennsylvania, Arizona State University, and the Stockholm School of Economics. He also served as an economist in the airline and banking industries. His research focuses on macroeconomic policy, business cycle theory, and economic growth. His work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review, Econometrica, and the Review of Economic Studies.

Henry Olsen is vice president and director of the National Research Initiative (NRI) at AEI. He disseminates and publicizes the Institute's work to the academic community; works with AEI's visiting, adjunct, and NRI research fellows; commissions and supervises NRI projects; and oversees the production of NRI publications. Mr. Olsen previously served as vice president for programs at the Manhattan Institute and as a judicial clerk to the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Danny J. Boggs.

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  • Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic, and political thought.
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