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The Political Economy Of Wages And Unemployment

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The Political Economy Of Wages And Unemployment

A Neoclassical Exploration

William Oliver Coleman

William Oliver Coleman, Reader, The Australian National University, Australia

2010 256 pp Hardback 978 1 84844 657 1
ebook isbn 978 1 84980 811 8

Hardback £78.00 on-line price £70.20


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‘William Oliver Coleman has written a provocative and interesting book. . . there is a lot to recommend in this book. It advocates a plausible theory of rigid wages. It does so in a thorough and competent manner. . . I would recommend this book for both graduate students and researchers interested in macroeconomics and labour economics.’
– Lawrence Uren, Economic Record


Further information

In this tightly argued work William Coleman explores the macroeconomic implications of politically based restraints on competition in labour markets.

Through a suite of compact models the author investigates the consequences of the labour force securing the best terms of sale for its labour by means of the electoral mechanism. He concludes that such ‘electorally optimal’ labour regulation can explain not only wage rigidity and unemployment, but also wage volatility; episodes of excess demand for labour; the co-existence of an inefficient state sector with an efficient private sector; and the preference for a minimum wage over a universal wage regulation. Finally, the approach can rationalize nominal wage rigidity, and not solely real wage rigidity. In sum, the analysis promises to both complete the Classical explanation of unemployment by predicting when, why and how real wages will be rigid, and at the same time to better secure Keynesian insights by suggesting how money rigidity may be characteristic of electorally optimal labour regulation.

The Political Economy of Wages and Unemployment will prove a challenging and stimulating read for academics, students and researchers of economics generally, and more specifically, those with a special interest in macroeconomics and labour economics.

Full table of contents

Contents: 1. The Problem Labour Monopoly Might Solve 2. The Fall and Rise of Labour Monopoly Theory 3. How a Wage Bill Hill Creates a Wage Rate Floor 4. Why the Floor Will Fluctuate 5. How Bargaining May Build a Ceiling Instead of a Floor 6. How Foresight May (and may not) Defeat the Floor 7. Why the ‘Property-Owning Democracy’ May Nationalize Capital Rather than Regulate Labour 8. Unemployment as a Benefit of Unemployment Benefits 9. Why the Majority May Choose the Wage of the Minority 10. Rigidity and Volatility in the Face of the Cycle: A Neoklassikal Analysis 11. Labour Monopoly as the Source of Money Wage Rigidity: A Hypothesis 12. A Concluding Comment References Index

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