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Inequality and Industrial Change: A Global View Paperback – April 9, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0521009935 ISBN-10: 0521009936 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521009936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521009935
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,528,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This volume provides an excellent source of empirical evidence on global wage inequality, a good theoretical discussion of the economic literature on inequality, and an invaluable tutorial on measuring inequality." Eastern Economic Journal

Book Description

The world knows that there is a global crisis of inequality in pay. But what caused it? Where is it more and where less severe? What can be done? This book deploys new techniques and a new global data set to advance striking answers to these questions, answers which have eluded even the largest international research institutions such as the OECD and the World Bank. Chapters trace the U.S. wage structure back to 1920, the relationship of inequality and unemployment in Europe, and the relationships of inequality to economic growth, liberalization, financial crisis, state violence and industrial policy in more than fifty developing countries.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is not an easy book -- it's a collection of technical academic papers -- but it is an important one, using sound science to overturn all the conventional wisdom about the macroeconomics of inequality. The book starts off with an incredible chapter summarizing a great deal of post-Keynesian work about income distribution. For those who have only been exposed to the theories of mainstream economics, the chapter is an eye-opener -- here's a theory of macroeconomics that's not only consistent with reality, but actually makes sense!

From there, the book consists of a series of papers applying a new kind of analysis to inequality in different countries. This gets a little repetitive, since each paper return tends to explain the method again, but some of the chapters are really impressive. The chapter in Europe, in particular, makes clear that the conventional wisdom that Europe's high social safety net causes its unemployment is completely backwards -- in fact, it's quite the reverse: social safety nets reduce unemployment.

Here's the gist: People don't get paid based on how their personal contributions, they get paid based on how much of a monopolist their employer is -- the receptionist at Google is a millionaire, while even an important expert at a struggling firm has trouble making ends meet. Why? Because companies need people to stay in their jobs and work hard and not constantly worry about going off someplace else. The more inequality there is in a society, the more people are running off to go someplace else, and the more unemployment there is. By providing social services and progressive taxes so that a waitress at McDonald's isn't doing so badly compared to a powerful lawyer, people feel better about the jobs they have.
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