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(Full) Employment Policy: Theory and Practice

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  • Dimitri B. Papadimitriou

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)

Abstract

Although the U.S. unemployment rate in 1998 was at its lowest level since the late 1960s, the nation's employment problem is still far from solved. Although many economists assume that unemployment tends toward a natural rate below which it cannot go without creating inflation, this paper asks whether the current employment policies will be able to deal with the challenges of the next downturn. To evaluate these questions, the author examines the relative merits of three proposed strategies to improve the employment situation - a reduced workweek, employment subsidies, and a public service job opportunity program - to see if they will meet the challenges of upholding an individual's basic right to job while not stimulating inflation. He finds that a shorter workweek and wage subsidies both have failed to meet one or both of these challenges, but that a public service job opportunity program, such as the "employer of last resort policy," would satisfy both the full employment and noninflationary criteria.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, 1999. "(Full) Employment Policy: Theory and Practice," Macroeconomics 9901003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9901003
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat Pdf Files; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 27; figures: included
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brunello, Giorgio, 1989. "The Employment Effects of Shorter Working Hours: An Application to Japanese Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(224), pages 473-486, November.
    2. L. Randall Wray, 1997. "Government as Employer of Last Resort: Full Employment without Inflation," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_213, Levy Economics Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Georgios Argitis & Stella Michopoulou, 2011. "Are Full Employment and Social Cohesion Possible Under Financialization?," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 139-155, July.
    2. Zdravka, Todorova, 2009. "Employer of Last Resort Policy and Feminist Economics: Social Provisioning and Socialization of Investment," MPRA Paper 16240, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Marc-Andre Pigeon & L. Randall Wray, "undated". "Down and Out in the United States, An Inside Look at the Out of the Labor Force Population," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_54, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Rania Antonopoulos & Sofia Adam & Kijong Kim & Thomas Masterson & Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, 2014. "After Austerity: Measuring the Impact of a Job Guarantee Policy for Greece," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_138, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Rania Antonopoulos, 2007. "The Right to a Job, the Right Types of Projects: Employment Guarantee Policies from a Gender Perspective," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_516, Levy Economics Institute.

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    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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