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Who's Not Working and Why : Employment, Cognitive Skills, Wages, and the Changing U.S. Labor Market - Frederic L. Pryor

Who's Not Working and Why

Employment, Cognitive Skills, Wages, and the Changing U.S. Labor Market

Paperback Published: 15th February 2001
ISBN: 9780521794398
Number Of Pages: 320

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This book presents a view of the operations of the labor market totally different from the conventional wisdom. The authors present data showing on one hand that jobs requiring a high level of education are increasing more slowly than those requiring somewhat fewer educational credentials. On the other hand, these jobs requiring less education are increasing faster than those requiring still less formal education. Additionally, Professors Pryor and Schaffer show how women are replacing men in jobs requiring higher levels of education. Using these insights the authors also explain why wages have become more unequal, why wages in those jobs requiring extra-high cognitive skills have risen and why all other wages have stagnated or fallen in the past quarter century.

Industry Reviews

"Their approach is novel and so are their conclusions." Choice "Frederic L. Pryor and David L. Schaffer, in Who's Not Working and Why, explore the impact of those changes on the distribution of jobs and wages and on the character of structural unemployment. Their arguments are illuminating and provocative...they are well worth heeding. A valuable contribution to the literature on changing patterns of employment, the work is suitable for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses dealing with labor economics or the character of the new economy." Perspectives on Political Science "Pryor and Schaffer perform a useful service by offering a novel analysis of the three major labor-market phenomena of the past three decades -- rising inequality, growing female participation in the labor force and, until recently, higher unemployment at each cyclical peak. Instead of the usual focus on formal education, they demonstrate the importance of cognitive skills and their differential use among occupations. Their approach should force a rethinking of our views of the central facts of the American labor market." Daniel S. Hamermesh, University of Texas, Austin "Pryor and Schaffer perform a useful service by offering a novel analysis of the three major labor-market phenomena of the past three decades -- rising inequality, growing female participation in the labor force and, until recently, higher unemployment at each cyclical peak. Instead of the usual focus on formal education, they demonstrate the importance of cognitive skills and their differential use among occupations. Their approach should force a rethinking of our views of the central facts of the American labor market." Daniel S. Hamermesh, University of Texas, Austin "Pryor and Schaffer have produced an extremely insightful analysis of the growing inequality of wage incomes in U.S. labor markets and the decline in job opportunities for adult males. Their book both challenges and extends much of the conventional wisdom on the role of education and cognitive skills as determinants of these trends." Barry Bosworth, Brookings Institution "The authors use a wealth of datasets and many different statistical methodologies to quantify the causes of what they call a fundamental failure of the US labor market. In doing so, Pryor and Schaffer debunk the myth that the low-skilled have been disproportionately hurt by imports, immigration, and changes in industry mix. Surprisingly, they show that the demand for workers in low-skilled occupations has actually increased over the last three decades, rather than decreased. Nevertheless, their policy prescriptions include the upgrading of workers skillsets. This volume offers a comprehensive and coherent examination of the key explanations for the hollowing out of the US labor market." Olivia Mitchell, The Wharton School "The authors use a wealth of datasets and many different statistical methodologies to quantify the causes of what they call a fundamental failure of the US labor market. In doing so, Pryor and Schaffer debunk the myth that the low-skilled have been disproportionately hurt by imports, immigration, and changes in industry mix. Surprisingly, they show that the demand for workers in low-skilled occupations has actually increased over the last three decades, rather than decreased. Nevertheless, their policy prescriptions include the upgrading of workers skillsets. This volume offers a comprehensive and coherent examination of the key explanations for the hollowing out of the US labor market." Olivia Mitchell, The Wharton School "Their approach is novel and so are their conclusions." Choice "Their approach is novel and so are their conclusions." Choice "In this ingenious and important book, Pryor and Schaffer attempt to make sense of observations about resent U.S. history. Part of what makes their treatment ingenious is the fact that they supplement the Current Population Survey, the customary source in this sort of inquiry, with data on cognitive capacities from the National Adult Literacy Survey, which contain information on both language and quantitative skills." Canada Review of Sociology Anthropology

List of tables and chartsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction
The Changing Labor Marketp. 1
Employment, Cognitive Skills, and Job Displacement
Cognitive Skills, Education, and Other Determinants of Employmentp. 19
Upskilling and Educational Upgrading of Occupationsp. 47
Labor Force Displacement Mechanismsp. 74
Wage Levels and Distribution
Wage Levelsp. 102
The Distribution of Hourly Wagesp. 137
Alternative Approaches
Five Misleading Theories about Joblessnessp. 170
Notes on Subjective and Institutional Factorsp. 205
Implications and Interpretations
Final Observationsp. 216
Notes
The Current Population Survey Datap. 234
Unemployment and Labor Force Non-Participation of the Prime-Age Populationp. 234
Determinants of Employment in 1971 and 1994p. 237
The Data from the National Adult Literacy Surveyp. 240
Notes on the Education Variable in the Current Population Surveyp. 243
Imputing 1994-95 Census Occupation Codes for the March 1971 and 1972 CPS Samplesp. 248
Biases in the Data on Occupationsp. 249
Skill Ratings and Structural Changes in Skillsp. 250
Occupational Deskilling by Educational Tierp. 253
More Data on Years of Education and Occupation of Prime-Age Workersp. 255
More Data on years of Education and Occupation of Prime-age Workersp. 257
Using the Biproportional Matrix Technique for Decompositionp. 260
Further Decomposition of the Structural Changesp. 263
More Data on Median Hourly Wagesp. 264
Estimating Hourly Wage Datap. 266
The Impact of Other Cognitive Skills on Wagesp. 269
Wage Regressions at Different Points in Timep. 271
More Charts on Wage Distributionsp. 272
The Impact of Immigration on the Employment of Native-Born Workersp. 274
Determinants of Hiring Criteria and of Labor Force Compositionp. 276
Bibliographyp. 280
Name Indexp. 292
Subject Indexp. 295
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521794398
ISBN-10: 0521794390
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 15th February 2001
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.73 x 15.24  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.41

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