Aaron Sojourner is assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management’s Department of Work and Organizations. He studies the economics of labor market institutions, human-capital policies, and the behavioral economics of consumer finance. He received his Ph.D. in economics and a certificate in education sciences from Northwestern University in 2009, M.P.P. from the University of Chicago in 2003, and B.A. in history from Yale University in 1995. He has also served as policy fellow with the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and in other policy roles.

He joined IZA as a research affiliate in September 2009 and became an IZA Research Fellow in January 2013.

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Publications

IZA Discussion Paper No. 11310

This paper develops the first evidence on how individuals' union membership status affects their net fiscal impact, the difference between taxes they pay and cost of public benefits they receive, enriching our understanding of how labor relations interacts with public economics. Current Population Survey data between 1994 and 2015 in...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9610

We study how union certification affects the enforcement of workplace-safety laws. To generate credible causal estimates, a regression discontinuity design compares outcomes in establishments where unions barely won representation elections to outcomes in establishments where union barely lost such elections. The study combines two main datasets: the census of National...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9552

The Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP) was designed to promote the development of low-birth weight (up to 2,500 grams) and premature (up to 37 weeks gestational age) infants. There is evidence that the IHDP intervention, a randomly-assigned bundle of services including primarily free, high-quality child care from 12 to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9501

In two experiments, we examine the effects of employer reputation in an online labor market (Amazon Mechanical Turk) in which employers may decline to pay workers while keeping their work product. First, in an audit study of employers by a blinded worker, we find that working only for good employers...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8240
Forthcoming: Industrial and Labor Relations Review

This paper studies the effects of nursing home unionization on numerous labor, establishment, and consumer outcomes using a regression discontinuity design. We find negative effects of unionization on staffing levels and no decline in care quality, suggesting positive labor productivity effects. Some evidence suggests that nursing homes in less competitive...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8098
Forthcoming in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review

This paper empirically examines the widespread belief that voluntarily negotiated agreements produce better long-run relationships than third-party imposed settlements, such as arbitrator decisions or court judgments. Two key outcomes are analyzed – subsequent player performance and the durability of club-player relationship. Major League Baseball provides a compelling setting for these...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7887
Published in: Industrial Relations. 2015. 55(4): 422-448

This paper studies the relationship between teacher unionization and student achievement. Generally stable patterns of teacher unionization since the 1970s have historically presented challenges in measuring the effects of unionization on educational production. However, the blossoming of the charter school sector in recent decades provides fertile ground for study because...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7087
Published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2013, 48 (4), 945-986.

How much of the income-based gaps in cognitive ability and academic achievement could be closed by a two-year, center-based early childhood education intervention? Data from the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP), which randomly assigned treatment to low birth weight children from both higher- and low-income families between ages one...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6479
Published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2013, 66 (2)

Controversies over the promise and perils of union political influence have erupted around the U.S. This study develops the first evidence on the degree to which labor unions develop members' political leadership in the broader community by studying the relationship between state legislators' occupations and the unionization rates of occupations...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5432
Published in: Economic Journal, 2013, 123(569), 574-605.

This paper studies peer effects on student achievement among first graders randomly assigned to classrooms in Tennessee’s Project STAR. The analysis uses previously unexploited pre-assignment achievement measures available for 60 percent of students. Data are not missing at random, making identification challenging. The paper develops new ways, given random assignment...

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