Internal Labor Markets and Manpower Analysis

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M.E. Sharpe, 1985 - Business & Economics
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This book discusses the institutional aspects of the American labor market. The introduction assesses the major changes since 1971.

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When I first encountered Internal Labor Markets and Manpower Analysis, in 1971, when I was a graduate student in economics, I found its analysis of the structure of labor markets compelling and important. In particular, the use of a segmented labor market with limited mobility between the sectors provided a great deal of insight into the operation of at least some aspects of labor markets.
From a perspective of nearly 40 years on, I still find the analysis fresh and compelling, if not quite as compelling as it was originally. We know more today about labor market mobility, so we are now more aware of how much mobility there is and how likely people are to move from jobs in one part of the overall labor market to another. The later research does not completely support the notion of strong segmentation; there is a significant amount of movement both "up" to the "primary" labor market and "down" to the secondary market.
However, the changes in the structure of the US economy have made labor movements a more important aspect of how labor markets work than such movements were in 1971. Corporate restructuring, downsizing, outsourcing (both within the US and outside), and the declining importance of unions have combined to make the distinction between primary jobs--with substantial job security, relatively high pay, and substantial benefits--and secondary jobs even clearer than it was in 1971. Further, the reach of the secondary labor market has also, if anything, been extended up the job hierarchy, now encompassing workers with qualifications (college or even graduate degrees) and experience (substantial, stable laor force attachment) that were not a part of Doerringer and Piore's original framework. Add to that the dramatic changes in the nature (from defined-benefit pensions, to defined-comtribution plans) and extent (declining health insurance coverage), and the significance of labor market segmentation becomes even more important.
This remains a useful and compelling book, and it will provide anyone who reads it carefully with insights--and with suggestions for research that remains to be done.
Donald A. Coffin
School of Business and Economics
Indiana University Northwest
Gary, IN 46408


The Origins of the Internal Labor Market
The Allocative Structure of Internal Labor Markets
Internal Labor Market Mens Garment Industry
Wage Determination Within the Internal Labor Market
Community Wage Survey
Manpower Adjustment and Labor Market Imbalances
Racial Discrimination in Internal Labor Markets
Functionally Identical Progression Lines with Racial
LowIncome Employment and the Disadvantaged Labor Force
LowIncome Labor Market

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