The Institutionalist Tradition in Labor Economics


The Institutionalist Tradition in Labor Economics



Edited by Dell P. Champlin and Janet T. Knoedler.

Includes a chapter by College at Brockport former faculty member J. Dennis Chasse: John R. Commons and his students : the view from the end of the twentieth century.

Institutionalist labor economics was the dominant approach to labor in the United States until the 1960s, when mathematical and abstract approaches to economics became more influential. A primary aim of this book is to demonstrate the continuing vibrancy and relevance of the institutionalist approach to labor economics, which is concerned with the issues of income distribution and inequality, the power of vested interests, and economic justice. Early institutionalists include John R. Commons, John Maurice Clark, and Thorstein Veblen.



Publication Date


Publication Information

Armonk, N.Y. : M. E. Sharpe, c2004.

vii, 357 p. : illustrations ; 25 cm.




Business Administration and Economics


Located in Drake Library at: HD4901 .I496 2004

CONTENTS: The institutionalist tradition in labor economics -- The institutional and neoclassical schools in labor economics -- Labor and the menace of competition -- John R. Commons and his students : the view from the end of the twentieth century -- Wages in the public interest : insights from Thorstein Veblen and J.M. Clark -- U.S. labor reexamined, 1880-1930 : success, ideology, and reversal -- Two sides of the same coin : institutionalist theories of wage rates and wage differentials -- The significance of segmentation for institutionalist theory and public policy -- Dead metaphors and living wages : on the role of measurement and logic in economic debates -- How is labor distinct from broccoli? Some unique characteristics of labor and their importance for economic analysis and policy -- An institutionalist approach to work time : is labor truly irksome? -- Wage discrimination in context : enlarging the field of view -- Nonstandard labor through an institutionalist lens : the more things change, the more they stay the same -- The institution of unauthorized residency status, neighborhood context, and Mexican immigrant earning in Los Angeles County -- Retirement : evolving concepts and institutions -- Organizing the service sector : from "labor" to "stakeholder" unionism -- Full employment and social justice -- Regressive norms, progressive possibilities, and labor justice -- Wealth and power : ethical implications of executive compensation since the 1980s -- Not only Nike's doing it : "sweating" and the contemporary labor market -- Prospects for the future of institutionalist labor economics.

The Institutionalist Tradition in Labor Economics