Human Capital in History: The American Record

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

America’s expansion to one of the richest nations in the world was partly due to a steady increase in labor productivity, which in turn depends upon the invention and deployment of new technologies and on investments in both human and physical capital. The accumulation of human capital—the knowledge and skill of workers—has featured prominently in American economic leadership over the past two centuries.

Human Capital in History brings together contributions from leading researchers in economic history, labor economics, the economics of education, and related fields. Building on Claudia Goldin’s landmark research on the labor history of the United States, the authors consider the roles of education and technology in contributing to American economic growth and well-being, the experience of women in the workforce, and how trends in marriage and family affected broader economic outcomes. The volume provides important new insights on the forces that affect the accumulation of human capital.
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About the author

Leah Platt Boustan is associate professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a research associate of the NBER. She is also a research associate at the California Center for Population Research and the Center for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London. Carola Frydman is assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Boston University and a faculty research fellow of the NBER. Robert A. Margo is professor of economics at Boston University and a research associate of the NBER. He is the author, most recently, of Wages and Labor Markets in the United States, 1820–1860.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Nov 5, 2014
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780226163925
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economic History
Business & Economics / Economics / Macroeconomics
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Labor
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The United States labor force is examined in detail in this comprehensive study. The history and current makeup of the workforce is revealed and issues and trends are investigated. Theory and analysis are blended with demographics to provide the reader with a solid overview of the current state of the American worker and his or her environment. Competing views are offered on diverse issues such as unions, welfare, and health care. Where helpful, economic and labor theory is explained and applied to give the book scholarly rigor along with readability and practical information. The viewpoint remains focused on a broad view of manpower. As such, emphasis is not on theoretical analysis but on description, historical trends, statistics on present conditions, and explanations.

The book begins with a discussion of the development of the workforce, the impact of immigration, the rise of nontraditional work arrangements, the underground economy, and demographics. Basic vocabulary and concepts are presented and explained to give the reader the tools necessary to analyze the topics presented in the latter parts of the book. Education is examined in part two. Competing views on the U.S. educational system and the value of education in an economic sense are discussed as are the choices open to non-college graduates. Career choices, unions, wage determination, and women and minority issues are considered in later chapters. Aspects of unemployment are explored in part seven. The book concludes with a look at the government's role in the workforce, including welfare, social insurance, and health care and shows how these programs impact both employer and worker behavior. This book is a great resource for executives, human resource professionals, researchers, policy makers, and students.

Most labor economics textbooks pay little attention to actual labor markets, taking as reference a perfectly competitive market in which losing a job is not a big deal. The Economics of Imperfect Labor Markets is the only textbook to focus on imperfect labor markets and to provide a systematic framework for analyzing how labor market institutions operate. This expanded, updated, and thoroughly revised second edition includes a new chapter on labor-market discrimination; quantitative examples; data and programming files enabling users to replicate key results of the literature; exercises at the end of each chapter; and expanded technical appendixes.

The Economics of Imperfect Labor Markets examines the many institutions that affect the behavior of workers and employers in imperfect labor markets. These include minimum wages, employment protection legislation, unemployment benefits, active labor market policies, working-time regulations, family policies, equal opportunity legislation, collective bargaining, early retirement programs, education and migration policies, payroll taxes, and employment-conditional incentives. Written for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students, the book carefully defines and measures these institutions to accurately characterize their effects, and discusses how these institutions are today being changed by political and economic forces.


Expanded, thoroughly revised second edition
New chapter on labor-market discrimination
New quantitative examples
New data sets enabling users to replicate key results of the literature
New end-of-chapter exercises (with solutions at www.press.princeton.edu)
Expanded technical appendixes
Unique focus on institutions in imperfect labor markets
Integrated framework and systematic coverage
Self-contained chapters on each of the most important labor-market institutions
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