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T. William Lester–PI. This study will test the major predictions of how firms in a monopsonistic labor market actively re-shape the employment relationship in response to higher labor standards. Specifically, this study will use a nested quantitative and qualitative research design of the restaurant industry across several fundamentally different institutional settings, namely San Francisco—where employers face the nation’s highest minimum wage, a pay-or-play health care mandate, and paid sick leave requirements—to the Research Triangle region—where there are no locally enacted labor standards. The key hypothesis tested is that labor standards effectively “take away the low-road” option for employers and, as a result, we expect to observe a greater degree of dispersion in employment practices in RTP than SF.