Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


International Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

William C. Smith

Second Committee Member

Bruce M. Bagley

Third Committee Member

Laura Gómez-Mera

Fourth Committee Member

Lilian Yaffe


This dissertation examines the political and institutional context in Latin American countries between 2000 and 2012 to explain the decline in labor relations reform after 1999. First, I synthesize the empirical literature on Latin American labor relations reform and present the governing debates in the literature. Second, I argue that a comprehensive understanding of labor relations reform requires a focus on de jure and de facto labor institutions. Third, I conduct a comparative analysis of labor relations reform in Latin America between 2000 and 2012 employing a mixed-methods approach based on panel data models to explain the factors that influence labor relations reform; fuzzy set models to identify the necessary and sufficient conditions of labor relations reform; and analytic narratives to explore the causal mechanisms that underlie labor relations reform. This dissertation contributes to the existing literature by 1) presenting a theoretical framework that provides a more comprehensive approach to the study of labor relations; 2) introducing a large-N data set on labor relations reform in Latin America for the years 2000 to 2012; and 3) applying a panel data and fuzzy set mixed-methods approach to the empirical study of labor relations.


Latin America; labor relations, labor reform; mixed-methods; de jure institutions; de facto labor institutions