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Unemployment and inequality


  • Glyn, Andrew


Analysis of contemporary unemployment has increasingly focussed on the position of the least skilled. The deterioration in their labour market position is first situated in the context of structural trends in the labour market. The development of labour market inequality in the 1980s is summarised and the deteriorating employment position of the unskilled, both in terms of registered unemployment, withdrawal from the labour market and falling relative earnings is documented. Explanations for these trends are discussed, with the distinction being drawn between those which focus on changes in technology and trade patterns and those which see declining overall demand for labour as the primary factor. Alternative policy responses are surveyed, with emphasis on their distributional implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Glyn, Andrew, 1995. "Unemployment and inequality," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 95-303, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbece:fsi95303

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, January.
    2. Calmfors, Lars, 1993. "Lessons from the macroeconomic experience of Sweden," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 25-72, March.
    3. Bean, Charles R., 1994. "European unemployment: A retrospective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 523-534, April.
    4. Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Why is the Unemployment Rate So Very High near Full Employment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 339-396.
    5. Glyn, Andrew, 1997. "Does Aggregate Profitability Really Matter?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(5), pages 593-619, September.
    6. Rowthorn, R E, 1977. "Conflict, Inflation and Money," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 215-239, September.
    7. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Howard J. Shatz, 1994. "Trade and Jobs in Manufacturing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 1-84.
    8. Dreze, Jacques H. & Malinvaud, Edmond, 1994. "Growth and employment: The scope of a European initiative," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 489-504, April.
    9. Glyn, Andrew & Rowthorn, Bob, 1988. "West European Unemployment: Corporatism and Structural Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 194-199, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tregenna, F., 2009. "The Relationship Between Unemployment and Earnings Inequality in South Africa," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0907, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Greenaway, David & Nelson, Douglas, 2000. "The Assessment: Globalization and Labour-Market Adjustment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 1-11, Autumn.
    3. Pascal Petit, 1999. "Sectoral Patterns of Distribution in Slowly Growing Economies: The case of nine OECD countries in the 1980s and 1990s," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 333-351.
    4. Mares, Isabela, 1996. "Firms and the welfare state: the emergence of new forms of unemployment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 96-308, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    5. Steven McIntosh, 2001. "The Demand for Post-Compulsory Education in Four European Countries," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 69-90.
    6. Robert Pollin, 2002. "Globalization and the Transition to Egalitarian Development," Working Papers wp42, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    7. Destefanis, Sergio & Mastromatteo, Giuseppe, 2010. "Wage Inequality and Labour-market Performance. A Role for Corporate Social Responsibility - Disuguaglianza salariale e performance del mercato del lavoro," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 63(1), pages 91-120.

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