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Michael H. Belzer is an internationally recognized expert on the trucking industry, especially the institutional and economic impact of deregulation.[1] He is an associate professor, in the economics department at Wayne State University. He is the author of Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation (Oxford University Press, 2000).[2] Along with Gregory M. Saltzman, he coauthored Truck Driver Occupational Safety and Health: 2003 Conference Report and Selective Literature Review, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2007. He has written many peer-reviewed articles on trucking industry economics, labor, occupational safety and health, infrastructure, and operational issues. Belzer has initiated a strategic economic development plan to transform Southeast Michigan into a global freight transportation hub.[3]


For eight years, he was a long-haul tank truck driver and a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which had a direct impact on his studies, writings and career.[4]

His major opus was critically well received. Low pay, bad working conditions and unsafe conditions have been a direct result of deregulation. "[This book] argues that trucking embodies the dark side of the new economy."[5] "Conditions are so poor and the pay system so unfair that long-haul companies compete with the fast-food industry for workers. Most long-haul carriers experience 100% annual driver turnover.[6] As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote: "The cabs of 18-wheelers have become the sweatshops of the new millennium, with some truckers toiling up to 95 hours per week for what amounts to barely more than the minimum wage. [This book] is eye-opening in its appraisal of what the trucking industry has become."[1]

Belzer is associate director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Trucking Industry Program—one of more than twenty Sloan Industry Centers—focusing on trucking industry operations, regulation, industrial organization, and industrial relations. In that capacity, he directs its Trucking Industry Benchmarking Program. Additionally, he is chairman of the Transportation Research Board Committee on Trucking Industry Research; a member of the Freight Systems Executive Board; and a member of the Committee on Freight Economics and Regulation as well as a member of the Truck and Bus Safety Committee.

In 1993, Belzer received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His thesis, "Collective Bargaining in the Trucking Industry: The Effects of Institutional and Economic Restructuring," focused on the transformational dynamic of changed regulation and institutional structure on industrial relations in the trucking industry. His research interests include all facets of trucking industry organization and operations, labor-management relations, employment policy, and safety.[7]

He is currently studying the relationship between truck driver earnings and safety, as well as issues related to their hours of work.,[7] and is also involved in studies of regulation and industrial organization and industrial relations in China, and has served as a visiting professor at various Chinese universities.[3][7][8]

Published worksEdit

  • Belzer, Michael H. (August 24, 2000). Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation (Hardcover). USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 272 pages. ISBN 0-19-512886-9. ISBN 978-0-19-512886-4.

Research reportsEdit

Selected scholarly publicationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Sweatshops on Wheels". Oxford University Press. July 2000. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  2. ^ Belzer, Michael H. (August 24, 2000). Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation (Hardcover). Oxford University Press, USA. p. 272. ISBN 0-19-512886-9. ISBN 978-0-19-512886-4.
  3. ^ a b "Michael H. Belzer". College of Liberal Arts and Science, Faculty Listing. Wayne State University. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  4. ^ "Sweatshops on Wheels". Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  5. ^ "Sweatshops on Wheels," U.S. News and World Report.
  6. ^ "Sweatshops on Wheels." The Washington Post
  7. ^ a b c d "Michael H. Belzer Home Page". Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  8. ^ Belzer, Michael H.; Wei, Pen Shih; Yu, Nan (2008). "Industrial Relations Experiments in China: Balancing Equity and Efficiency the Chinese Way". Industry Studies Conference Paper. SSRN 1135082. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External linksEdit