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Sanford M. Jacoby


Distinguished Research Professor of History, Management, and Public Policy


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Contact Information

Email    sanford@ad.ucla.edu
Office  Luskin School, Rm. 6218
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Sanford M. Jacoby is Distinguished Research Professor of History, Management, and Public Policy. His research uses historical and comparative methods to study labor movements, corporations, employers, labor market institutions, and political economy. 

Jacoby’s latest book is Labor in the Age of Finance: Pensions, Power, and Corporations (Princeton University Press, 2021). The book catalogs the array of allies and finance-based tactics labor deployed to stanch membership losses in the private sector. By leveraging pension capital, unions restructured corporate governance around issues like executive pay and accountability.  In Congress, they drew on their political influence to press for corporate reforms in the wake of business scandals and the financial crisis. The effort restrained imperial CEOs but could not bridge the divide between workers and owners. Wages lagged behind investor returns, feeding the inequality identified by Occupy Wall Street.  And labor’s slide continued.

Jacoby’s other works include Employing Bureaucracy: Managers, Unions, and the Transformation of Work in the Twentieth Century (1985, 2004), which was one of the decade’s  top-ten books in a ranking by Princeton’s Industrial Relations Section;  Welfare Capitalism Since the New Deal, which received the Philip Taft Labor History Prize; and The Embedded Corporation: Corporate Governance and Employment Relations in Japan and the United States (2005), the Japanese translation of which Nikkei Shinbun judged to be one of the top three books on economics and management published in 2005. He has edited two collections: Masters to Managers: Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Employers (1991) and The Workers of Nations: Industrial Relations in a Global Economy (1995).

He is co-editor of Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal and serves on the editorial boards of other scholarly journals in the United States and abroad. Jacoby has been a visiting professor at Doshisha University, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Tokyo, the University of Manchester, and Waseda University’s Institute for Advanced Study.

Jacoby received a Guggenheim Fellowship to support the writing of his most recent book. He has received other honors for his research.

Selected Publications

Labor in the Age of Finance: Pensions, Power, and Corporations (Princeton University Press, 2021).

The Embedded Corporation: Corporate Governance and Employment Relations in Japan and the United States (Princeton University Press, 2005).

Employing Bureaucracy: Managers, Unions, and the Transformation of the Workplace in the Twentieth Century (Erlbaum, 2004).

Modern Manors: Welfare Capitalism Since the New Deal (Princeton University Press, 1997).

The Workers of Nations: Industrial Relations in a Global Economy, ed., New York, (Oxford University Press, 1995).

Masters to Managers: Historical and Comparative Perspectives on American Employers, ed., New York, (Columbia University Press, 1991).

Research

20th Century U.S. Business, Economic, and Labor History