Title Page, Copyright Page

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CONTENTS

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p. vii

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CONTRIBUTORS

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pp. ix-x

Rebecca Blank is an associate professor of economics at Northwestern University and a member of the research faculty at NU's Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research. She is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her research focuses on the interaction between macroeconomic effects, labor market and social welfare programs, and the ...

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PREFACE

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pp. xi-xii

For American workers the 1980s, and to a lesser extent the 1970s, were a difficult time. Real earnings fell for many. Labor productivity grew slowly. The proportion of workers in sectors with high and increasing productivity, such as manufacturing, declined. Once the world leaders in reducing work time, Americans came to work ...

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1. How Labor Fares in Advanced Economies

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pp. 1-28

In 1909 Samuel Gompers, a founder of the American labor movement and president of the American Federation of Labor, visited Europe to examine "from an American viewpoint ... life and conditions of working men in Great Britain, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, etc." Gompers was struck by the poor living standard ...

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2. Rising Wage Inequality: The United States Vs. Other Advanced Countries

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pp. 29-62

One of the "big stories" in American economic life in the 1980s was the large increase in income inequality. Inequality grew as the economic expansion of the latter half of the 1980s failed to benefit the majority of American families enough to offset the losses they had incurred during the recession of the early 1980s. In ...

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3. Payoffs to Alternative Training Strategies at Work

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pp. 63-96

In the 1970s labor market analysts and policymakers were concerned about absorbing into the labor market an "overeducated American"-the cohort of young, baby-boom college graduates who flooded the labor market and experienced reduced earnings and employment opportunities (Freeman, 1976). In the 1980s and ...

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4. Workplace Representation Overseas: The Works Councils Story

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pp. 97-156

In the labor relations systems of most advanced countries, unions or other mechanisms of wage regulation and collective bargaining are supplemented by a "second channel" of industrial relations. This second channel consists of workplace-based institutions for worker representation and labor-management communication that ...

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5. Does a Larger Social Safety Net Mean Less Economic Flexibility?

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pp. 157-188

Higher employment growth and lower unemployment in the United States than in Western Europe in the 1980s generated widespread discussion of the employment problems potentially caused by government social protection programs. The U.S. economy has long been characterized by limited state welfare ...

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6. Small Differences That Matter: Canada Vs. the United States

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pp. 189-222

To outsiders Canada and the United States often look like two sides of the same coin. The two countries have a closely intertwined history; they share similar cultures, similar economic institutions, and similar standards of living. The U.S. and Canadian economies are linked by massive trade flows, by the interlocking ...

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7. Lessons for the United States

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pp. 223-240

Unlike many investigations of foreign economic systems, the Working under Different Rules project was motivated not by intrinsic interest in Europe or Japan (fascinating though they may be) but by concern about the specific problems that plague the United States as we prepare to enter the twenty-first century: ...

APPENDIX: Books in the NBER Series on Comparative Labor Markets

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pp. 241-244

INDEX

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pp. 245-261