Why are pension funds so large and benefits so small? This examination of the 120-year-old American system of privatized social insurance—often called, at 1.7 trillion dollars, the biggest lump of money in the world—reveals that the system fails to provide adequate retirement income security, its most prominent goal, and, in fact, its greatest influence is in supplying funds to U.S. capital markets.
From Malthus to Becker, the economic approach to population growth and its interactions with the surrounding economic environment has undergone a major transformation. Population Economics elucidates the theory behind this shift and the consequences for economic policy.Razin and Sadka systematically examine the microeconomic implications of people's decisions about how many children to have and how to provide for them on population trends and social issues of population policy.
The Wage Curve casts doubt on some of the most important ideas in macroeconomics, labor economics, and regional economics. According to macroeconomic orthodoxy, there is a relationship between unemployment and the rate of change of wages. According to orthodoxy in labor economics and regional economics, an area's wage is positively related to the amount of joblessness in the area. The Wage Curve suggests that both these beliefs are incorrect.
The American labor market faces many deep-rooted problems, including persistence of a large low-wage sector, worsening inequality in earnings, employees' lack of voice in the workplace, and the need of employers to maximize flexibility if they are to survive in an increasingly competitive market. The impetus for this book is the absence of a serious national debate about these issues.
Most of the world's people live in "developing" economies, as do most of the world's poor. The predominant means of economic development is economic growth. In this book Gary Fields asks to what extent and in what circumstances economic growth improves the material standard of living of a country's people. Most development economists agree that economic growth raises the incomes of people in all parts of the income distribution and lowers the poverty rate. At the same time, some groups lose out because of changes accompanying economic growth.
Over the last twenty years, fifteen Western European nations have removed most barriers to trade and migration, as well as most forms of national discrimination in economic and social exchange. Some have also given up their national currency and their ability to conduct independent monetary and fiscal policy. Opinion on the future of structural reform in the European Union tends to fall into two camps. One side argues that the single market and monetary union will make it more difficult to carry out badly needed structural reforms.
The seventy-year-old Soviet tradition of "wages without work" soon turned into "work without wages" when the planned economy began switching to a market system in 1992. Lack of budget discipline, the breakdown of contractual obligations at all levels, and the failure of state agencies to enforce laws among businesses led to pervasive wage nonpayment to workers in both the public and private sectors.
"This book is about the relationship between law, a quasi-judicial administrative agency, and politics, in the volatile arena of labor policy and the balance of power between labor and management.... It is about the rule of law and the role of labor law in a modern economy."
—from the Introduction
An equilibrium theory of unemployment assumes that firms and workers maximize their payoffs under rational expectations and that wages are determined to exploit the private gains from trade. This book focuses on the modeling of the transitions in and out of unemployment, given the stochastic processes that break up jobs and lead to the formation of new jobs, and on the implications of this approach for macroeconomic equilibrium and for the efficiency of the labor market.
Once stolid, strictly regulated organizations that epitomized lifetime employment, retail banks are now highly competitive enterprises with fragmented career structures and a new focus on sales and performance. Because banks are a major employer of labor, such changes have important implications for the workplace experiences and job opportunities of a significant proportion of the workforce in OECD and newly industrialized countries.