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Dale  Belman - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Dale Belman Dale  Belman

Professor | Michigan State University


Professor Belman conducts research on unions and labor market regulation



Dale  Belman Publication Dale  Belman Publication Dale  Belman Publication Dale  Belman Publication Dale  Belman Publication




Prof. Dale Belman: Does Employment Respond to the Minimum Wage?



Dale Belman is a Professor in MSU’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations and president of the Institute for Construction Economics Research. His research focuses on labor market regulation, collective bargaining, trucking and construction. His work on construction includes Building Better: A Look at Best Practices for the Design of Project Labor Agreements (2010), Project Labor Agreements (2006), and The Effect of Project Labor Agreements on the Cost of School Construction in Massachusetts (Industrial Relations, 2010). His current research on construction includes improving project performance through enhancing employee engagement, an assessment of skilled labor shortages in construction in the Southeast and improving selection into apprenticeship programs. Prior to researching construction, he studied employment relations and markets in trucking. Professor Belman’s has published books on the effect of the minimum wage What Does the Minimum Wage Do? (Upjohn, 2014) and trucking, Sailors of the Concrete Sea: The Work and Life of Truck Drivers (MSU Press, 2005) and Trucking in the Age of Information (Aldershot, 2005). What Does the Minimum Wage Do? won the Bowen Prize for best policy book in labor economics and labor relations from Princeton University in 2015.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (7)

Labor Relations

Minimum-wage and Low-wage Work

Puiblic-sector Employment

Truckers and Trucking

Construction Industry


Minimum Wage

Accomplishments (4)

Bowen Prize for Best Public Policy Book, Industrial Relations Section

Princeton University, 2014

Graduate School Research Fellowships

UWM, 1987 & 1992

Graduate School Research Development Grant

UWM, 1989

Wisconsin Alumni Research Association Fellowship


Education (3)

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Ph.D., Economics

University of Wisconsin-Madison: M.A., Economics

Bowdoin College: B.A., Economics and Sociology

Affiliations (1)

  • Institute for Construction Economics Research

News (5)

Shawn Vestal: Rising wages associated with healthier infants

The Spokesman-Review  


There’s not really a roadmap for where we’re going. Economists Dale Belman of Michigan State and Paul Wolfson of Darmouth evaluated 200 minimum-wage studies and published “What Does the Minimum Wage Do?” in 2014. Their summary: “Evidence leads us to conclude that moderate increases in the minimum wage are a useful means of raising wages in the lower part of the wage distribution that has little or no effect on employment and hours.”...

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Research shows minimum wage hikes were followed by employment increases

Chicago Tribune  


There's a large body of rigorous economic research devoted to that subject. It includes a lot of counter-factuals: If the wage hadn't gone up, would the economy have created more jobs, and if so, how many? There are some studies that find higher minimum wages hamper job creation; a recent and comprehensive survey of studies, by economists Dale Belman and Paul J. Wolfson, finds no statistically significant effect on jobs from the relatively modest federal minimum wage hikes across American history...

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MSU professor wins award for book

MSU Today  online


Dale Belman, professor in the School of Labor and Industrial Relations, received the Bowen Award for most important public policy book of 2014 from the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University. The Section is located in a Princeton University library and specializes in labor subjects, designed for the use of students, faculty, practitioners and researchers.

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MSU experts can discuss right-to-work, labor issues

MSU Today  


Michigan State University has a number of experts who can speak to union issues, including professor Dale Belman, who says the future of the American labor movement is unclear as right-to-work begins (read more here)...

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As right-to-work begins, future of unions unclear

MSU Today  online


On one hand, union membership in the private sector has fallen to its lowest point in nearly a century and likely will bottom out at about 5 percent in the next 10 years, said Dale Belman, professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations.

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Journal Articles (4)

Who Is Affected by the Minimum Wage? Industrial Relations A Journal of Economy and Society

2015 Prior surveys of empirical research on the minimum wage have been organized around the question “What does the minimum wage affect?” This survey is organized around the question “Who is affected by the minimum wage?” We review the consequences of the minimum wage for teens and young workers, men and women, African Americans and Hispanics, the less educated, workers in low-wage industries, and low-wage/low-income populations. Although there is almost universal agreement that the minimum wage boosts earnings, evidence for a negative employment effect varies between mixed and nonexistent. An important gap in the literature is the paucity of research on low-wage/low-income groups.

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15 Years of Research on U.S. Employment and the Minimum Wage Tuck School of Business Working Papers

2015 Statistical analysis of the effect of the minimum wage on employment, has been very active for the last quarter century. More than 60 analyses using U.S. data have appeared since the exchange between David Neumark and William Wascher, and David Card and Alan Krueger in the AER (December 2000). This study presents a meta-analysis of the 37 that report results in a way that makes them easily comparable and suitable for this technique. The most important result is that the consensus range of -0.3 to -0.1 has shifted considerably toward the origin: -0.12 to -0.05. We find a moderate degree of publication bias in this literature, but no support for the proposition that the minimum wage has had an important effect on U.S. employment.

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Work-Life Flexibility Policies: Do Unions Affect Employee Access and Use? ILR Review

2014 The authors examine the influence of individual and collective voice mechanisms on employee access to and use of six work–life flexibility practices. Their multilevel analyses are based on an original survey of 897 workers nested in departments across eight unionized establishments in the United States. Collective voice measures include the effectiveness of union pay benefits and union schedule support at the individual and union (group) levels. The authors' analyses indicate that when unions are perceived to effectively support workers' schedule needs, individual access to flextime, gradual return to work, and a compressed workweek is higher. By contrast, when unions are perceived to effectively negotiate higher wages and benefits and enforce the collective agreement, individual access to flextime and a compressed workweek is lower. Collective voice measures are also significantly related to the use of a number of work–life flexibility practices. These findings suggest that union behavior can have a significant and varied influence on access to and use of work–life flexibility practices.

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Job Attributes and Federal Wage Differentials Industrial Relations A Journal of Economy and Society

2008 As part of the debate on how to treat attributes of a job (as opposed to a worker) when measuring federal differentials, the focus has been on the proper treatment of employer size. Using employer size, we highlight the two extremes in the literature of either holding job attributes constant or of assuming attributes do not transfer between sectors. A third alternative-estimating the extent to which the attribute will transfer-is much closer in value to that generated by holding employer size constant.

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