Unequal Protections: Regional Disparities in Labor Standards Policies, Enforcement, and Violations
Fine, Galvin, Round, and Shepherd seek to understand the relationship between region, race, state enforcement capacities, and minimum wage violations in the United States, and what the mechanisms are by which weaker state enforcement capacities might produce a higher incidence of minimum wage violations. This exploratory, theory-building project involves three major empirical components. First, the four researchers will improve upon, merge, and expand separate datasets they previously compiled on subnational labor standards enforcement capacity to create a novel and flexible database of all the enforcement capacities of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data and coding rules will be made fully transparent to enable future researchers to use whichever combination of codes best suits their particular research questions. Second, the researchers will use CPS-MORG data to estimate the minimum wage violation rate in every state and region of the United States. Third, they will use exploratory, in-depth comparative case studies to identify and theorize a repertoire of mechanisms linking the legacy of slavery and the post-slavery racialized economy in the South to weak state enforcement capacity and minimum wage violations in order to understand the role of federalism in creating and maintaining Black-White racial disparities.