Abram Bergson has been making significant contributions to economic theory since the 1930s, and this selection of fifteen of his most influential essays exhibits in large part the breadth of his range. The book's primary focus, however, is on those aspects of economic theory to which he has given sustained attention over the whole course of his career: welfare and socialist economics.
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.
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.
Traditionally, economists have considered the accumulation of conventional inputs such as labor and capital to be the primary force behind economic growth. Now, however, many macroeconomists place technological progress at the center of the growth process. This shift is due to new theoretical developments that allow researchers to link microeconomic aspects of the innovation process with macroeconomic outcomes.
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 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.
"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
For most of recorded history, men's pay has tended to be higher than women's. This both reflects and underpins gender roles, with men's authority more highly valued socially as well as economically. In Unequal Pay for Women and Men, Heather Joshi and Pierella Paci look at why gender pay inequality matters. They argue that no amount of training, maternity and parental leave, or child care provisions will change women's economic status if pay treatment remains unequal—if the market values men's time more than women's.