Don Lescohier on Labor Market Policy: The Case of the United States After the First World War
This paper presents and evaluates Don Lescohier's contribution to labor economics, and specifically to labor market policy. Lescohier, a prominent member of the Wisconsin Institutional School, put the labor market in the center of his investigations and tried to examine many of the factors that determine its efficient functioning, differentiating his study from the labor studies that focused on the individual mainly union worker. His analysis was essentially influenced by the progressive political climate of his time, the heterodox thought of some "non-Marshallian" British economists like Beveridge, and the newly emergent field of personnel management. Lescohier ardently proposed the creation of a federal-state centralized system of employment offices, which would undertake the difficult task of organizing the American labor market after the end of World War I. His work constituted both an interesting and significant case study, and thus deserves a higher position in the history of labor economics.
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