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The Reserve Army of Labour in the Postwar U.S. Economy: Some Stock and Flow Estimates


  • Deepankar Basu

    () (Universty of Massachusetts)


This paper presents some estimates of the stock of the reserve army of labour, and flows into and out of the reserve army of labour for the postwar U.S. economy. Estimates of stocks are presented for the period 1948–2011 at a monthly frequency; 6 month moving average estimates of flows into and out of the reserve army of labour are presented for the period 1990–2011. Some interesting patterns in the stock and flow data are pointed out, and it is suggested that this data base on the active and reserve army of labour can be used for empirical analysis of the labour market from a Marxian theoretical perspective. JEL Categories: B51; O1

Suggested Citation

  • Deepankar Basu, 2012. "The Reserve Army of Labour in the Postwar U.S. Economy: Some Stock and Flow Estimates," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2012-03, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2012-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 3-26, Summer.
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    More about this item


    Marxian political economy; reserve army of labour; labour market.;

    JEL classification:

    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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