What are the links among industrial structure, segmentation, the internal structure of firms, job characteristics, technology, productivity, labor markets, and product markets? The answers, posited by a distinguished group of sociologists and economists, have gained resonance as the field of economic sociology has grown. In this expanded edition, the editors and their economist colleague, Kevin Lang, explore the theoretical interstices and update the references.
Sociologists and economists have responded differently to work within the other discipline. For some sociologists, the typical economic assumption of basic actors engaged in rational action is both unrealistic and objectionable. Other sociologists have not always agreed with everything economists do, they have seen "rational choice" as a partially true description of human behavior and as a starting point for sociological theorizing. Among economists, the situation is quite different: most have maintained their basic rational choice model while pushing aggressively into substantive areas previously addressed only by sociologists and political scientists.
Industries, Firms, and Jobs is a welcome reassertion of an old tradition of interdisciplinary research. That tradition has recently weakened, largely because of an enormous expansion of the domain of neoclassical economics. The expansion has fed on two scientific developments: human capital theory and contract theory. This book is an invaluable resource for all economists, sociologists, labor specialists, and business professionals.