Dual Labor Markets

Dual Labor Markets

A Macroeconomic Perspective

By Gilles Saint-Paul





The labor market consists of two tiers. Workers in the upper tier enjoy high wages, good benefits, and employment security, and they are often unionized. Workers in the lower tier experience low wages, high turnover, job insecurity, and little chance of promotion. Until now, dual labor market theory has focused mainly on microeconomic factors such as discrimination, poverty, and public welfare. Dual Labor Markets considers the macroeconomic implications of the dual market. The book uses theoretical models derived from the author's research over the past six years to analyze such policy issues as the level and persistence of unemployment, the level of real wages, the accumulation of human capital, and the political viability of labor market reform in the United States and Europe.


$45.00 X ISBN: 9780262193764 232 pp. | 6.3 in x 9.1 in


  • A fascinating monograph that weaves apparently disparate strands into a convincing analysis of one of the most pressing economic problems of our time. Essential reading for those wanting to understand how the modern labour market functions, and what can be done to tackle the scourge of excessive unemployment.

    Charles Bean

    Professor, London School of Economics

  • Understanding the nature of good and bad jobs is essential to understanding unemployment. For too long, theories of dual labor markets and theories of unemployment have proceeded in parallel. This was a shame and a scientific sin. Saint-Paul's masterful integration is an essential step. It will have an important impact, both in labor and in macroeconomics.

    Olivier Blanchard

    Professor of Economics, MIT