In this Book

summary
In the American federal system, states actively compete for jobs, business investment, and factory locations. Labor costs have played an important role in such interstate competition since the days of the pre-Civil War plantation economy. In recent years, however, global economic trends have put added pressures on businesses and government to reduce labor costs. At least, that is what most politicians, the media, and the business community believe. Globalization and the Politics of Pay examines the economic, political, and social causes and consequences of declining wages in the United States. It challenges the conventional wisdom that globalization is to blame for the decline in workers' earnings. Susan B. Hansen presents a comprehensive analysis of the many factors affecting labor costs and concludes that many of them result from choices made by the states themselves through the laws and policies they enact. In addition, free-market ideologies and low voter turnout have had greater effects in keeping wages down than globalization. In fact, foreign trade and investment can actually result in higher pay in the state labor market. In this rigorous yet surprising study, Hansen develops new measures of state and federal labor costs to test competing theories of the consequences of reducing wages and benefits. Most economists would argue that higher labor costs cause higher unemployment, and that reducing labor costs will lead to higher levels of job creation. But citizens and elected officials must weigh any employment gains in lower-wage jobs against slower state economic growth, declining personal income, and a less-competitive position in international trade. Cutting state labor costs is shown to have adverse social consequences, including family instability, high crime rates, poverty, and low voter turnouts. The book concludes with policy recommendations for state governments trying to balance their need for more jobs with policies to enhance productivity, living standards, social stability, and international competitiveness.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. i
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. List of Tables and Figures
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. 1. Globalization, Interstate Competition, and Labor
  2. pp. 1-25
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  1. 2. The State Role in Labor Costs
  2. pp. 27-57
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  1. 3. Explaining State Differences in Labor Cost Trends
  2. pp. 59-90
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  1. 4. The Economic Effects of Cutting Labor Costs
  2. pp. 91-112
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  1. 5. The Social and Political Consequences of Declining Labor Costs
  2. pp. 113-133
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  1. 6. Conclusion: Lessons Learned and Policy Options for the States
  2. pp. 135-164
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  1. APPENDIX A: Explaining State Differences in Labor Costs
  2. pp. 165-169
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  1. APPENDIX B: Time-Series Analysis of State Economic Outcomes, 1970–2000
  2. pp. 171-177
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  1. APPENDIX C: Analysis of Social Consequences of Declining Labor Costs
  2. pp. 179-181
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  1. APPENDIX D: Data and Sources
  2. pp. 183-184
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 185-195
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  1. References
  2. pp. 197-217
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 219-231
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781589013292
Related ISBN
9781589010888
MARC Record
OCLC
290561207
Pages
248
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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