Cover image for A Future of lousy jobs? : the changing structure of U.S. wages
A Future of lousy jobs? : the changing structure of U.S. wages
Burtless, Gary T., 1950-
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brookings Institution, [1990]

Physical Description:
xiv, 242 pages ; 23 cm

Format :


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HD4975 .F87 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The U.S. work force is viewed as increasingly divided between a prosperous minority that enjoys ever-rising wages and a less affluent majority that continuously struggles to make ends meet. To determine whether and why this view of the job market is accurate, labor market economists analyze trends in the distribution of jobs and wages over the past two decades and attempt to forecast the future course of American earnings inequality.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Conventional wisdom has it that inequality in the US is growing. This collection attempts to verify empirically this change and to provide causal justifications. The structure of American industry, the declining influence of unions on wages, and the increasing relative demand for college-educated workers have all worked in the direction of increasing inequality (Blackburn et al.). Aggregate market conditions measured by the unemployment rate do not significantly affect the extent of inequality, and more than half of the inequality arises within similar demographic groups rather than among groups (Burtless). Although part-time jobs have grown in importance, it is not clear that this growth has contributed to inequality (Blank). Increases in cohort size reduce college attendance and postsecondary training among men but not women (Loury). The welfare state has not contributed to the inequality of men's earnings, which is due more to wage changes than hours worked (Moffitt). This book would be of value to anyone interested in labor markets and wage inequality. Although readable by undergraduates, it does require some training in statistics and economic theory. J.F. O'Connell College of the Holy Cross