Richard A. Lester's ties with Princeton and the Industrial Relations Section began in 1929, when he enrolled as a graduate student in economics. Lester served as an instructor at Princeton (1934-38), and returned as Associate Professor and Research Associate of the Industrial Relations Section in 1945. He served as Chairman of the Economics Department from 1948 to 1955 and from 1961 to 1968, and as Dean of the Faculty from 1968 to 1973. Lester was one of the founders of the Industrial Relations Research Association and was elected its president in 1956. He served in Washington in various capacities between 1940 and 1944, and was vice-chairman of the President's Commission on the Status of Women from 1961 to 1963.
Since 1949 the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton has issued an annual list of "Noteworthy Books in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics". These books are selected each spring by the associates of the Industrial Relations Section from among the many dozens published during the previous year in the areas of Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management, and Labor Economics. The list includes eminent scholarly works as well as significant new books of interest to a wider audience of practitioners and general readers.
In recognition of Richard Lester's contribution to the fields of Labor Economics and Industrial Relations and his many years of service to the Industrial Relations Section, the Section has established an annual award for the outstanding book in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics. The award is presented to the book making the most original and important contribution toward understanding the problems of industrial relations, labor market policies, and the evolution of labor markets.
Stephen A. Wandner for Solving the Reemployment Puzzle: From Research to Policy
||Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz for The Race between Education and Technology
||Greg J. Duncan, Aletha C. Huston, and Thomas S. Weisner, Higher Ground: New Hope for the Working Poor and their Children.
||Nancy MacLean, Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace.
||John B. Knight and Lina Song, Towards a Labour Market in China.
||John W. Budd, Employment with a Human Face: Balancing Efficiency, Equity and Voice.
|| Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn, At Home and Abroad: U.S. Labor Market Performance in International Perspective.
||Annette Bernhardt, Martina Morris, Mark S. Handcock and Marc A. Scott, Divergent Paths: Economic Mobility in the New American Labor Market.
||Price Van Meter Fishback and Shawn Everett Kantor, A Prelude to the Welfare State: The Origins of Workers' Compensation.
||Timothy J. Minchin, Hiring the Black Worker: The Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry, 1960-1980.
||Rebecca M. Blank, It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty.
||Phillip L. Martin, Promises to Keep: Collective Bargaining in California Agriculture.
||David G. Blanchflower and Andrew J. Oswald, The Wage Curve.
||Douglas L. Kruse, Profit Sharing: Does It Make a Difference? The Productivity and Stability Effects of Employee Profit-sharing Plans.
||Bruce E. Kaufman, The Origins and Evolution of the Field of Industrial Relations in the United States.
||John H. Pencavel, Labor Markets Under Trade Unionism: Employment, Wages and Hours.
||Claudia D. Golden, Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women.
||William G. Bowen and Julie Ann Sosa, Prospects for Faculty in the Arts and Sciences: A Study of Factors Affecting Supply and Demand, 1987 to 2012.
||John P. Hoerr, And the wolf Finally Came: The Decline of the American Steel Industry.