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At Home and Abroad. By Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2002. Pp. xi, 314. $34.95

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  • Seltzer, Andrew

Abstract

In the 1970s the United States had far higher wages than the rest of the developed world; 1979 1981 median weakly earnings of men in full-time employment were $609 in 1998 prices, compared to an average of $419 across six other developed countries. However, the United States also had a higher unemployment rate; in 1973 it was 4.8 percent compared to an average of 2.1 percent in 11 other countries. Fast forward two decades. Median real wages in the United States, although still higher than in the other countries, had fallen 5.5 percent whereas in the other countries they had increased an average of 22.6 percent. However, whereas the unemployment rate in the United States fell slightly over the period, it skyrocketed in most of the other countries, averaging 8.2 percent in the European Union in 1999. By the late 1990s the United States also differed from the rest of the developed world in a number of other labor-market outcomes. The U.S. had: a lower average duration of unemployment and less prevalent long-term unemployment, higher labor-force participation rates among both men and women, longer average hours of work over the course of the year, and greater earnings inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 63 (2003)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 312-314

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:63:y:2003:i:01:p:312-314_67

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