Chiara Mussida & Francesco Pastore (Eds.), Geographical Labor Market Imbalances: Recent Explanations and Cures (AIEL Series in Labour Economics)
The collection of articles by 31 authors, “Geographical Labor Market Imbalances” (edited by Chiara Mussida and Francesco Pastore) belongs to the AIEL Series in Labor Economics published by Springer Verlag and impresses the readers with the broad spectrum of problems examined therein. The book consists of introduction and four parts. The structure of the book is well thought of, the material of each part is smoothly connected to the previous parts. The chapters’ distribution inside each part is well balanced. Attractive features of the book are extended number of applied econometric methods and a variety of empirical data used for the analysis. I studied “Geographical Labor Market Imbalances” with great pleasure and great benefits for myself and would like to recommend it to wider audience, including researchers, students and professors in the areas of labor market, regional economics and comparative economics.
Neoclassical economics is built around static concepts of efficiency and welfare that can only be applied with great care to a dynamic and inherently imperfect world . And economists, including most neoclassical economists, have long understood that the fact that perfect competition yields an allocatively optimal outcome in the purely hypothetical world of perfect competition, does not mean that competition is always a spur to efficiency in the real world. But the neoliberal revolution that has engulfed the world over the past thirty years has consisted mainly of creating a climate in which the benefits of competition were confidently asserted under an ever widening range of circumstances. Indeed, in this new world, market solutions have become the default option, so that the onus of proof lies squarely with those arguing for market interference in the public interest. But in a complex, dy-namic and highly contentious world this is an almost unsupportable burden, since it is impossible to make a genuinely compelling case for intervention in such a world. Of course, it would be equally impossible to make a compelling case for market forces, but this fact is effectively obscured by such an asymmetrical – and deeply ideological – perspective. As a result demands for the further empowerment of market actors are frequently asserted in the absence of good evidence to support the claims made on their behalf, with potentially serious consequences for the economy and for society. And the labour market is one area in which demands for the empowerment of market forces have been strong even though the supporting evidence has been weak and ambiguous. Moreover, if these demands for reform were not evidence driven, then it would be reasonable to assume that they were primarily driven by interests and ideology in which case one would not expect them to be deterred by contrary evidence. And that appears to be the case today as rising costs to labour and society in many countries are ignored, while those who benefit most from these policies seek to divide the losers by pitting the poor against the very poor, women against men, im-migrants against nationals, young against old. And for the moment they appear to have been rather successful, but we are a long way from the end of history. Meanwhile the human, social and economic costs of neoliberal labour market reform have been large and are likely to grow, while the promised benefits have been fitful and extremely unevenly allocated. But the task of building an effective opposition to these policies, in the spirit of Polanyi’s «double movement» , has been hampered by a range of forces that have reduced the scope for social solidarity and state action at the level of the nation state but without creating any international power centre that could seriously address the task of protect labour or society against an excessive empowerment of market forces and market actors. But the costs are real and they are growing. And they are far larger and more threatening than has been fully understood by many of those currently celebrating their short term gains. Indeed, in time, these processes will generate contradictions that must eventually be resolved, though sometimes in ways that will threaten the very fabric of society.
Оn-the-job training and its economic effiсiency are considered in this article.
Fertility is an important determinant of long-run population growth and labor market conditions. The present study focuses on the effects of time and space dynamics on the description of fertility in Sweden. These effects were expected to be generated by labor mobility across municipalities. The influence of time dynamics in postponing or accelerating childbearing was assessed by considering two different effects of earnings. First, the effect within one generation was considered by comparing a family’s current earnings with the earnings in the recent past and expected earnings in the future. The second effect, referred to previously as the Easterlin hypothesis, was examined through the generations by comparing a household’s earnings for a younger generation with earnings of the parental generation. The hypotheses were tested for the period 1981–2008. The study involved estimating space and time dynamics by using the SAR (2,1) model and the general method of moments for aggregate panel data. By comparing different specifications, positive spatial autocorrelation of fertility was identified. Current earnings appeared to have a negative effect on fertility rates within municipalities, and in the long-run, across them. The inverted Easterlin hypothesis was weakly supported within municipalities. The study makes an important theoretical contribution through the application of a stationarity condition and evaluation of the long-run effect in the direct, indirect, and total forms of the SAR (2,1) model with second-order autoregressive and first-order spatial disturbances.
We study the relationship between income and environmental quality based on modern Russian city-level data. The paper aims at testing whether the environmental Kuznets curve relationship between air pollution and average monthly wages holds in Russian cities and towns. Our preliminary results support the presence of an inverted U-shaped function of wages and reveal significant spatial autocorrelation of air pollution indicators of Russian cities and towns.
The book focuses on the new kinds of conflict that arises in the transition to a market economy. Following an editorial introduction, two chapters develop theories from new empirical research into patterns of conflict and forms of trade unionism in Russian enterprises in the transition period. These are folloed by a detailed case study of the development of an independent trade union in one industrial enterprise, and a chapter which explores changes in the status hierarchy of the industrial enterprise. Two chapters then address the much-neglected issue of gender differentiation in the work place and both chapters question the supposed passivity of Russian women workers. The two final chapters address the issue of conflict and change in the external relations of enterprises through case studies of the process of bancruptcy and of conflict insiders and outsiders. Conflict and Change in the Russian Industrial Enterprise is the second volume in the series Management and Industry in Russia, reporning on the results of a unique programme of research into the restructuring of social relations in Russian industrial production.
An effective system of personnel training is one of the most important factors of companies’ growth and development of the whole economy, especially in times of rapid technological progress. This study is aimed to analyze the factors affecting the companies’ stimulus to invest in the employees` human capital in Russia. Logistic regressions to determine the effects using data from Russian firms in 2011 are used in the study. The study shows that innovative activity of the enterprise, a high proportion of workers with higher education, and an active employment policy has a positive effect on the probability of the availability of training programs in the enterprise.
The second half of the XX century was marked by a dramatic change in the information sector of the economy, which led to the serious transformation in traditional labor relations. There have appeared new forms of mass employment such as freelance and telejob. However in Russia this subject has not been studied yet while there is a large number of relevant empirical and theoretical studies carried out in the developed countries The paper presents a review of Western quantitative studies devoted to freelance and conducted since the beginning of the 2000s. The following issues are reflected upon: elaboration of new terminology, cross-country freelance statistics, advantages and disadvantages of freelance, motivation of freelancers, structure of work process; relations between freelancers and their customers; and professional communities of freelancers.