Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000

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David Card, Richard Blundell, Richard B. Freeman
University of Chicago Press, Dec 1, 2007 - Business & Economics - 520 pages
In the 1980s and 1990s successive United Kingdom governments enacted a series of reforms to establish a more market-oriented economy, closer to the American model and further away from its Western European competitors. Today, the United Kingdom is one of the least regulated economies in the world, marked by transformed welfare and industrial relations systems and broad privatization. Virtually every industry and government program has been affected by the reforms, from hospitals and schools to labor unions and jobless benefit programs.

Seeking a Premier Economy focuses on the labor and product market reforms that directly impacted productivity, employment, and inequality. The questions asked are provocative: How did the United Kingdom manage to stave off falling earnings for lower paid workers? What role did the reforms play in rising income inequality and trends in poverty? At the same time, what reforms also contributed to reduced unemployment and the accelerated growth of real wages? The comparative microeconomic approach of this book yields the most credible evaluation possible, focusing on closely associated outcomes of particular reforms for individuals, firms, and sectors.
 

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Contents

1 What Have Two Decades of British Economic Reform Delivered?
9
The Role of Privatization
63
UK Evidence
109
4 Characteristics of ForeignOwned Firms in British Manufacturing
147
5 The Surprising Retreat of Union Britain
181
6 Pension Reform and Economic Performance in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s
233
7 Labor Market Reforms and Changes in Wage Inequality in the United Kingdom and the United States
275
8 Whither Poverty in Great Britain and the United States? The Determinants of Changing Poverty and Whether Work Will Work
313
9 Mobility and Joblessness
371
10 Has InWork Benefit Reform Helped the Labor Market?
411
11 Active Labor Market Policies and the British New Deal for the Young Unemployed in Context
461
Contributors
497
Author Index
499
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About the author (2007)

David Card is the Class of 1950 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a research associate of the NBER. Richard Blundell is the research director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Leverhulme Research Professor at the University College, London. Richard B. Freeman is the Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics at Harvard University, program director of labor studies at NBER, and senior research fellow at the Centre for Economic Performance of the London School of Economics.

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