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Strikes, Scabs and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires

Alan Krueger and Alexandre Mas

No 9524, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: This paper provides a case study of the effect of labor relations on product quality. We consider whether a long, contentious strike and the hiring of permanent replacement workers by Bridgestone/Firestone in the mid-1990s contributed to the production of an excess number of defective tires. Using several independent data sources we find that labor strife in the Decatur plant closely coincided with lower product quality. Count data regression models based on two data sets of tire failures by plant, year and age show significantly higher failure rates for tires produced in Decatur during the labor dispute than before or after the dispute, or than at other plants. Also, an analysis of internal Firestone engineering tests indicates that P235 tires from Decatur performed less well if they were manufactured during the labor dispute compared with those produced after the dispute, or compared with those from other, non-striking plants. Monthly data suggest that the production of defective tires was particularly high around the time wage concessions were demanded by Firestone in early 1994 and when large numbers of replacement workers and permanent workers worked side by side in late 1995 and early 1996.

JEL-codes: J5 M1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec and nep-lab
Note: LS
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Published as Krueger, Alan B. and Alexandre Mas. "Strikes, Scabs, And Tread Separations: Labor Strife And The Production Of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires," Journal of Political Economy, 2004, v112(2,Apr), 253-289.

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Related works:
Journal Article: Strikes, Scabs, and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires (2004) Downloads
Working Paper: Strikes, Scabs and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires (2003) Downloads
Working Paper: Strikes, Scabs and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires (2002) Downloads
Working Paper: Strikes, Scabs and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires (2002) Downloads
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