Sociologists and economists have responded differently to work within the other discipline. For some sociologists, the typical economic assumption of basic actors engaged in rational action is both unrealistic and objectionable. Other sociologists have not always agreed with everything economists do, they have seen "rational choice" as a partially true description of human behavior and as a starting point for sociological theorizing. Among economists, the situation is quite different: most have maintained their basic rational choice model while pushing aggressively into substantive areas previously addressed only by sociologists and political scientists.
Industries, Firms, and Jobs is a welcome reassertion of an old tradition of interdisciplinary research. That tradition has recently weakened, largely because of an enormous expansion of the domain of neoclassical economics. The expansion has fed on two scientific developments: human capital theory and contract theory. This book is an invaluable resource for all economists, sociologists, labor specialists, and business professionals.
Until 1930, the trajectory of the labor movement in Brazil was quite similar to what was happening in most of the rest of Latin America. Most of the early labor organizations were mutual-benefit societies rather than trade unions. This began to change in the early 1900s. From the onset, organized labor in Brazil was involved with politics, and organized labor had to deal not only with the opposition of employers, but also with that of successive conservative governments. All this changed with the ascent of Vargas to power in 1930. He sought to win the support of the urban working class, and with the coming of the New State in 1937, the government was deeply involved in the direction of union activities. After 1945, Brazilian labor was once more influenced by a variety of different political currents, and by the 1960s the labor movement began to extend into the rural sector of the economy. The Constitution of 1988 allowed workers to organize without government control and they won the right to strike. By 1990 the Brazilian labor movement had attained the structure and characteristics it would retain into the new century. A major resource for scholars, students, and other researchers involved with Brazilian labor, economic, and political affairs.
All the country chapters treat political economy issues and related policy conclusions. Stressing the interrelationship between liberalization and labor markets, the chapters discuss the importance of institutional, political, and legal factors in considering the effects of liberalization policies on the structure of labor markets and its participants. The book is an important look at a previously unexplored area of economic analysis.