The Economics of Labor: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Economics of Labor

1st Edition

Edited by George J. Borjas


2,200 pages

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Hardback: 9780415577267
pub: 2014-06-12
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The branch of economics concerned with the allocation of resources in the labor market addresses some of the most difficult issues facing governments and policy-makers at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The range of dizzying questions it seeks to answer include:

  • what is the impact of immigration on the wage and employment opportunities of native-born workers?
  • are government subsidies of investments in human capital an effective way to improve the economic well-being of disadvantaged workers?
  • what factors determine the distribution of wages?
  • what is the economic impact of trade unions?
  • why did the labor-force participation of women rise steadily throughout the past century in many industrialized countries?

In addition to its policy relevance, labor economics has played an important role in the development of modern economics as a whole. Because of the widespread availability of data on labor-market outcomes, labor economists have developed a number of econometric methods that have profoundly influenced the profession. The diffusion of these methods to other fields within economics (and to other social sciences) has radically changed how social scientists analyse and interpret data.

This new title from Routledge meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of the subject’s vast literature and the continuing explosion in research. Edited by George J. Borjas, the pre-eminent scholar in the field, The Economics of Labor is a four-volume collection of classic and contemporary contributions.

The first volume is dedicated to the basic models of labor supply and labor demand. Volume II, meanwhile, focuses on studies of labor-market equilibrium, including the theory of compensating differentials. The third and fourth volumes bring together a number of related topics, including labor-market discrimination, labor-market unions, migration, theories of incentives and compensation, and unemployment. Together, the four volumes provide a one-stop resource for all interested researchers, teachers, and students to gain a thorough understanding of the roots of labor economics and its future direction.

With a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context, The Economics of Labor is destined to be valued by all economists, as well as by other social scientists working in related areas, as an essential work of reference.

Table of Contents

Volume I: Labor Supply and Labor Demand

A. Labor Supply

1. Jacob Mincer, ‘Labor Force Participation of Married Women’, in H. Gregg Lewis (ed.), Aspects of Labor Economics (Princeton University Press, 1962), pp. 63–97.

2. Gary S. Becker, ‘A Theory of the Allocation of Time’, Economic Journal, 1965, 75, 493–517.

3. James J. Heckman, ‘Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply’, Econometrica, 1974, 42, 4, 679–94.

4. James J. Heckman, ‘Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error with an Application to the Estimation of Labor Supply Functions’, in James P. Smith (ed.), Female Labor Supply: Theory and Estimation (Princeton University Press, 1980), pp. 206–48.

5. Thomas E. MaCurdy, ‘An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting’, Journal of Political Economy, 1981, 89, 1059–85.

6. Orley Ashenfelter and James J. Heckman, ‘The Estimation of Income and Substitution Effects in a Model of Family Labor Supply’, Econometrica, 1974, 42, 1, 73–85.

7. Pierre-André Chiappori, ‘Rational Household Labor Supply’, Econometrica, 1988, 56, 63–90.

8. Richard Blundell, A. Duncan, and C. Meghir, ‘Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms’, Econometrica, 1998, 66, 4, 827–61.

9. Thomas MaCurdy, David Green, and Harry Paarsch, ‘Assessing Empirical Approaches for Analyzing Taxes and Labor Supply’, Journal of Human Resources, 1990, 415–90.

B. Labor Demand

10. Walter Oi, ‘Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor’, Journal of Political Economy, 1962, 70, 6, 538–55.

11. Richard B. Freeman, ‘The Effect of Demographic Factors on the Age-Earnings Profile’, Journal of Human Resources, Summer 1979, 239–318.

12. Finis Welch, ‘Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies’ Financial Bust’, Journal of Political Economy, 1979, 87, S65–S97.

13. Daniel S. Hamermesh, ‘Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs’, American Economic Review, 1989, 79, 4, 674–89.

14. Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz, ‘The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1998, 113, 693–732.

15. John DiNardo, Nicole M. Fortin, and Thomas Lemieux, ‘Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973–1992: A Semiparametric Approach’, Econometrica, 1996, 64, 5, 1001–44.

16. David Card and Alan B. Krueger, ‘Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania’, American Economic Review, 1994, 84, 772–93.

17. David Neumark and William Wascher, ‘Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment’, American Economic Review, 2000, 90, 5, 1362–96.

Volume II. Labor Market Equilibrium

C. Market Equilibrium

18. Olivier Jean Blanchard and Lawrence F. Katz, ‘Regional Evolutions’, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1992, 1, 1–61.

19. Daron Acemoglu, David H. Autor, and David Lyle, ‘Women, War and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Midcentury’, Journal of Political Economy, 2004, 112, 497–551.

20. William M. Boal and Michael R. Ransom, ‘Monopsony in the Labor Market’, Journal of Economic Literature, 1997, 35, 86–112.

D. Compensating Differentials

21. Sherwin Rosen, ‘Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets’, Journal of Political Economy, 1974, 82, 1, 34–55.

22. Charles Brown, ‘Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1980, 94, 113–34.

23. Richard Thaler and Sherwin Rosen, ‘The Value of Saving a Life: Evidence from the Labor Market’, in Nestor Terleckyj (ed.), Household Production and Consumption (Columbia University Press, 1976), pp. 265–98.

24. John Abowd and Orley Ashenfelter, ‘Anticipated Unemployment, Temporary Layoffs, and Compensating Wage Differentials’, in Sherwin Rosen (ed.), Studies in Labor Markets (University of Chicago Press, 1981), pp. 141–85.

E. Labor Mobility

25. Boyan Jovanovic, ‘Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover’, Journal of Political Economy, 1979, 972–90.

26. Robert H. Topel, ‘Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority’, Journal of Political Economy, 1991, 99, 145–76.

27. Joseph Altonji and Robert Shakotko, ‘Do Wages Rise With Seniority?’, Review of Economies Studies, 1987, 54, 437–59.

28. Larry A. Sjaastad, ‘The Costs and Returns of Human Migration’, Journal of Political Economy, 1962, 70, 5, 80–93.

29. Jacob Mincer, ‘Family Migration Decisions’, Journal of Political Economy, 1978, 86, 749–73.

30. George J. Borjas, ‘Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants’, American Economic Review, 1987, 77, 531–53.

31. David Card, ‘The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market’, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 1990, 43, 245–57.

32. George J. Borjas, ‘The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration in the Labor Market’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2003, 11, 1335–74.

33. Gordon B. Dahl, ‘Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets’, Econometrica, 2002, 70, 6, 2367–420.

Volume III: Wage Differences among Workers

F. Human Capital

34. Gary Becker, ‘Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis’, Journal of Political Economy, 1962, 70, 5, 9–49.

35. Jacob Mincer, ‘On-the-Job Training: Costs, Returns, and Some Implications’, Journal of Political Economy, 1962, 70, 5, 50–79.

36. Yoram Ben-Porath, ‘The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings’, Journal of Political Economy, 1967, 75, 352–65.

37. A. Michael Spence, ‘Job Market Signaling’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1973, 87, 355–74.

38. Daron Acemoglu and Steve Pischke, ‘The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training’, Journal of Political Economy, 1999, 107, 539–72.

39. A. Roy, ‘Some Thoughts on the Distribution of Earnings’, Oxford Economic Papers, 1951, 135–46.

40. Robert J. Willis and Sherwin Rosen, ‘Education and Self-Selection’, Journal of Political Economy, 1979, 87, S7–S36.

41. David Card, ‘Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems’, Econometrica, 2001, 69, 5, 1127-60.

42. Joshua Angrist and Alan B. Krueger, ‘Does Compulsory Schooling Affect Schooling and Earnings?’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1991, 106, 979–1014.

43. David Card and Alan B. Krueger, ‘Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States’, Journal of Political Economy, 1992,100, 1–40.

G. The Wage Structure

44. Lawrence F. Katz and Kevin M. Murphy, ‘Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1992, 107, 35–78.

45. Chinhui Juhn, Kevin M. Murphy, and Brooks Pierce, ‘Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill’, Journal of Political Economy, 1993, 101, 3, 410–42.

46. Thomas Lemieux, ‘Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?’, American Economic Review, 2006, 96, 461–98.

47. Sherwin Rosen, ‘The Economics of Superstars’, American Economic Review, 1981, 71, 845–58.

H. Discrimination

48. Kenneth J. Arrow, ‘The Theory of Discrimination’, in O. Ashenfelter and A. Rees (eds.), Discrimination in Labor Markets (Princeton University Press, 1973), pp. 3–33.

49. Matthew S. Goldberg, ‘Discrimination, Nepotism, and Long-Run Wage Differentials’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1982, 97, 307–19.

50. Derek Neal and William R. Johnson, ‘The Role of Pre-Market Factors in the Black/White Wage Gap’, Journal of Political Economy, 1996, 104, 5, 869–95.

51. Jacob Mincer and Solomon W. Polachek, ‘Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women’, Journal of Political Economy, 1974, 82, S76–S108.

52. Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullanaithan, ‘Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination’, American Economic Review, 2004, 94, 991–1013.

Volume IV: Unions, Contracts, and Unemployment

I. Unions

53. Richard B. Freeman, ‘The Exit-Voice Trade-off in the Labor Market: Unionism, Job Tenure, Quits, and Separations’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1980, 94, 643–74.

54. John M. Abowd, ‘The Effect of Wage Bargains on the Stock Market Value of the Firm’, American Economic Review, 1989, 79, 774–800.

55. Orley C. Ashenfelter and George E. Johnson, ‘Bargaining Theory, Trade Unions, and Industrial Strike Activity’, American Economic Review, 1969, 74, 35–49.

56. Thomas E. MaCurdy and John H. Pencavel, ‘Testing Between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets’, Journal of Political Economy, 1986, 94, S3–S39.

57. James N. Brown and Orley Ashenfelter, ‘Testing the Efficiency of Employment Contracts’, Journal of Political Economy, 1986, 94, 3, S40–S87.

J. Labor Market Contracts

58. Sherwin Rosen, ‘Implicit Contracts: A Survey’, Journal of Economic Literature, 1985, 23, 3, 1144–75.

59. Paul Beaudry and John DiNardo, ‘The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages Over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data’, Journal of Political Economy, 1991, 99, 4, 665–88.

60. Edward P. Lazear and Sherwin Rosen, ‘Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts’, Journal of Political Economy, 1981, 89, 841–64.

61. Edward P. Lazear, ‘Why is There Mandatory Retirement?’, Journal of Political Economy, 1979, 87, 1261–84.

62. George Akerlof, ‘Labor Contracts as a Partial Gift Exchange’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1982, 97, 543–69.

63. Carl Shapiro and Joseph E. Stiglitz, ‘Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device’, American Economic Review, 1984, 74, 433–44.

64. Alan B. Krueger and Lawrence H. Summers, ‘Efficiency Wages and the Inter-Industry Wage Structure’, Econometrica, 1988, 56, 259–93.

K. Unemployment

65. Dale T. Mortensen, ‘Job Search, the Duration of Unemployment and the Phillips Curve’, American Economic Review, 1970, 60, 847–62.

66. Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A. Pissarides, ‘Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment’, Review of Economic Studies, 1994, 61, 3, 397–415.

67. David M. Lilien, ‘Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment’, Journal of Political Economy, 1982, 90, 777–93.

68. Katharine G. Abraham and Lawrence F. Katz, ‘Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances’, Journal of Political Economy, 1986, 94, 507–22.

69. M. Feldstein, ‘Temporary Layoffs in the Theory of Unemployment’, Journal of Political Economy, 1976, 84, 937–57.

70. Lawrence F. Katz and Bruce D. Meyer, ‘Unemployment Insurance, Recall Expectations, and Unemployment Outcomes’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1990, 105, 973–1002.

About the Editor

Edited and with a new introduction by George J. Borjas, Harvard University

About the Series

Critical Concepts in Economics

With a rich backlist of popular Economics titles on current areas of research, the Critical Concepts in Economics series spans a wide range of titles, with titles including China and Globalization, The Great Depression and Feminist Economics. Upcoming titles to look out for include Islamic Economics and Human Capital.

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