Anthony B. Atkinson

A. B. Atkinson is Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

  • The Economic Consequences of Rolling Back the Welfare State

    The Economic Consequences of Rolling Back the Welfare State

    Anthony B. Atkinson

    In recent years the welfare state has come under attack from economists, and in many OECD countries there have been calls for spending on the welfare state to be rolled back. Critics argue that the size of transfer programs is responsible for a decline in economic performance and that cuts in spending are a prerequisite for a return to the golden age of full employment and economic growth. A. B. Atkinson takes such criticisms seriously, placing them under empirical and analytical scrutiny. Atkinson brings a welcome sense of balance to the debate. He warns that many currently fashionable policy proposals to roll back the welfare state could have unintended negative side effects, based as they are on an oversimplified view of the workings of the economy and of how welfare arrangements affect economic incentives. He asks whether there are ways in which the welfare state plays a positive role in the modernization of the economy. He develops new models of the labor market and of the growth of the corporate economy, which provide insight into the role and consequences of unemployment insurance, and the implications of moves to private pension funds. Atkinson does not attempt to determine whether or not spending should be cut. Rather, his aim is to clarify the nature of the charges leveled against the welfare state, so that readers can make up their own minds. Copublished with the Center for Economic Studies and the Ifo Institute

    • Hardcover $38.00

Contributor

  • Personal, Portable, Pedestrian

    Personal, Portable, Pedestrian

    Mobile Phones in Japanese Life

    Mizuko Ito, Misa Matsuda, and Daisuke Okabe

    How mobile communications in Japan became a pervasively personal tool that connects families and friends, creating "always-on" social engagement.

    The Japanese term for mobile phone, keitai (roughly translated as "something you carry with you"), evokes not technical capability or freedom of movement but intimacy and portability, defining a personal accessory that allows constant social connection. Japan's enthusiastic engagement with mobile technology has become—along with anime, manga, and sushi—part of its trendsetting popular culture. Personal, Portable, Pedestrian, the first book-length English-language treatment of mobile communication use in Japan, covers the transformation of keitai from business tool to personal device for communication and play. The essays in this groundbreaking collection document the emergence, incorporation, and domestication of mobile communications in a wide range of social practices and institutions. The book first considers the social, cultural, and historical context of keitai development, including its beginnings in youth pager use in the early 1990s. It then discusses the virtually seamless integration of keitai use into everyday life, contrasting it to the more escapist character of Internet use on the PC. Other essays suggest that the use of mobile communication reinforces ties between close friends and family, producing "tele-cocooning" by tight-knit social groups. The book also discusses mobile phone manners and examines keitai use by copier technicians, multitasking housewives, and school children. Personal, Portable, Pedestrian describes a mobile universe in which networked relations are a pervasive and persistent fixture of everyday life.

    • Hardcover $43.00
    • Paperback $45.00