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Economic Category: Labor and Demographic Economics

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Labor and Demographic Economics - Article

1. A History of the Standard of Living in the United States

Standard of living is often evaluated by people using the same criteria. This article discusses the standard of living in the United States mainly through the GDP and life expectancy. [Details...]

2. African Americans in the Twentieth Century

This article begins with an assessment of African Americans in the nineteenth century and describes the transitions that began to take place during the twentieth century to where they are today. [Details...]

3. Apprenticeship in the United States

This article describes apprenticeship in the United State by discussing the four periods of major apprenticeship changes and the challengs which defined those changes. [Details...]

4. Backward Bending Supply of Labour Curve

Explanation of the labor supply curve, and why it is backward-bending. [Details...]

5. Backward Bending Supply of Labour Curve

Explanation of the labor supply curve, and why it is backward-bending. [Details...]

6. Child Labor during the British Industrial Revolution

This article examines the historical debate about child labor in Britain, Britain's political response to problems with child labor, quantitative evidence about child labor during the 1800's, and economic explanations of the practice of child labor. [Details...]

7. Comparable Worth

Should a truck driver earn more than a telephone operator, or an engineer more than a librarian? Questions like these are largely resolved in the labor market by the forces of supply and demand. This article examines the wage gap and the effects of comparable worth. [Details...]

8. Conscription

This article examines whether a military draft is a necessary and fair thing for a government to enforce or whether it was more sensible for the U.S. to institute the public policy of an all-volunteer force. [Details...]

9. Discrimination

Because government penalties against discrimination by business make headlines and market penalties do not, the popular wisdom holds that only government stands between individuals and unfair discrimination by business. While governments practicing unfair discrimination face occasional losses only if their activities attract public disfavor, the losses incurred by businesses mount with each and every sale. [Details...]

10. Economic History of Retirement in the United States

This article desribes the trends in U.S. retirement behavior and government pension plans, and explains trends in the retirement decision. [Details...]

11. English Poor Laws

For nearly three centuries, the Poor Law constituted "a welfare state in miniature," relieving the elderly, widows, children, the sick, the disabled, and the unemployed and underemployed (Blaug 1964). This essay will outline the changing role played by the Poor Law, focusing on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. [Details...]

12. Fertility and Mortality in the United States

Every modern, economically developed nation has experienced the demographic transition from high to low levels of fertility and mortality. America is no exception. But America was also distinctive. First, its fertility transition began in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century at the latest. Second, the fertility rate in America commenced its sustained decline long before that of mortality. Third, both these processes were influenced by America's very high level of net in-migration and also by the significant population redistribution to frontier areas and later to cities, towns, and suburbs. [Details...]

13. Gender Gap

When economists speak of the "gender gap," these days they usually are referring to systematic differences in the outcomes that men and women achieve in the labor market. These differences come in the percentages of men and women in the labor force, the types of occupations they choose, and the difference in the average incomes of men and women. These economic gender gaps have been a major issue in the women's movement and a major issue for economists. [Details...]

14. History of Labor Turnover in the U.S.

Labor turnover measures the movement of workers in and out of employment with a particular firm. This article explains how the rise of large scale firms in the late nineteenth century and the decreasing importance of agricultural employment meant that a growing number of workers were employed by firms. It was only in this context that interest in measuring labor turnover and understanding its causes began. [Details...]

15. History of Workplace Safety in the United States, 1880-1970

This article explains the dangers of certain jobs such as mining, manufacturing, and railroad working to examine the history of workplace safety in the United States from 1880-1970. [Details...]

16. Hours of Work in U.S. History

This article presents estimates of the length of the historical workweek in the U.S., describes the history of the shorter-hours "movement," and examines the forces that drove the workweek's decline over time. [Details...]

17. Human Capital

This article explains how schooling, a computer training course, expenditures of medical care, and lectures on the virtues of punctuality and honest are all part of what is called human capital. [Details...]

18. Immigration

Immigration is a major component of demographic change in the United States. This article shows how immigrants affect the labor market, native earnings, and the economy. [Details...]

19. Immigration to the United States

This article focuses on the basic data sources available, the variation in the volume over time, the reasons immigration occurred, nativism and U.S. immigration policy, the characteristics of the immigrant stream, the effects on the United States economy, and the experience of immigrants in the U.S. labor market. [Details...]

20. Ireland's Great Famine

This article describes the Great Irish Famine from 1846-1852 by explaining its causes, the direct effects of the famine, and the post-famine adjustment. [Details...]

21. Job Safety

This article explains how, contrary to popular belief, employers have many incentives to make workplaces safe, and disputes the fact that if government were not regulating job safety, workplaces would be unsafe. [Details...]

22. Labor Unions

This article explains how labor unions are simply cartels that raise wages above competitive levels by capturing monopolies over who companies can hire and what they must pay. [Details...]

23. Labor Unions in the United States

This article explores the nature and development of labor unions in the United States. It reviews the growth and recent decline of the American labor movement and makes comparisons with the experience of foreign labor unions to clarify particular aspects of the history of labor unions in the United States. [Details...]

24. Minimum Wages

This article explains the history of the minimum wage laws and how minimum wage laws can set laws, but they cannot guarantee jobs. [Details...]

25. Monopsony in American Labor Markets

This article explains monopsony by using examples of various professions such as athletes, teachers and nurses, University professors, coal miners, and more. [Details...]

26. Population

This article discusses population by focusing on population aging, fluctuations in general size, and population and development. [Details...]

27. Public Sector Pensions in the United States

This article gives a brief introduction into the history of pensions then goes on to discuss early military pensions with a breakdown of Ancient Rome, Europe, and the United States. [Details...]

28. Slavery in the United States

This article examines slavery in the United States by discussing the spread of slavery in the U.S., the insitutional framework, the legal status of slaves and blacks, the rights and responsibilities of slave masters, markets and prices, and profitibality, efficiency, and exploitation. [Details...]

29. The Company Town

This article explains the company town as an economic institution that was part of the market for labor. It discusses company towns as primarily existing in areas associated with the coal industry and discusses the labor struggles associated with it. [Details...]

30. The Depression of 1893

This article describes economic developments in the decades leading up to the depression; the performance of the economy during the 1890's; domestic and international causes of depression; and political and social responses to the depression. [Details...]

31. The Economic History of Major League Baseball

This is a lengthy article detailing the origins of baseball and the demand that erupted for it. [Details...]

32. The Economics of the Civil War

This article focuses on the economic causes of the Civil war, the costs of the war, the problem of financing the war, and a re-examination of the Hacker-Beard thesis that the war was a turning point in American economic history. [Details...]

33. Unemployment

An encyclopedia entry describing unemployment and giving statistics on how it is defined and measured. [Details...]

34. Unemployment Insurance

An encyclopedia entry describing The United States unemployment insurance program and the goals associated with it. [Details...]

35. Unemployment Rate

Definition of the unemployment rate, the natural rate of unemployment, and limitations of the employment rate measurement. [Details...]

36. Wages and Working Conditions

CEOs of multinational corporations, exotic dancers, and children with lemonade stands have at least one thing in common. They all expect a return for their effort. Most workers get that return in a subtle and ever-changing combination of money wages and working conditions. This article describes how they changed for the typical U.S. worker during the twentieth century. [Details...]

37. Women Workers in the British Industrial Revolution

Historians disagree about whether the British Industrial Revolution (1760-1830) was beneficial for women. However, this article focuses on how the Industrial Revolution was a time of important changes in the way that women worked. [Details...]

38. Workers' Compensation

This article discusses the origins of worker's compensation and trends in worker's compensation over the past century. [Details...]

Labor and Demographic Economics - Interactive Tutorial

39. Economics General - Wages

Collection of online explanations, articles, question banks, etc in the field of labor economics. [Details...]

40. Economics General - Wages

Collection of online explanations, articles, question banks, etc in the field of labor economics. [Details...]

Labor and Demographic Economics - Experiment Software

41. Principal/Agent Game

This program runs a set of "Principal/Agent" games. The first mover (employer) makes a contract offer, and the second movers (worker) chooses whether to accept the contract. A worker who accepts a contract then chooses an effort level, which is costly to the worker but which benefits the employer. The possible contracts include fixed wage payments, along with possible ex post bonuses, monitoring, penalties, and/or profit sharing. If the contract only specifies a required fixed wage and an optional bonus, then the Nash equilibrium for selfish preferences in a one-shot game is to offer the minimum possible effort, since the wage is paid irrespective of effort. Efforts may be higher with fixed matchings or if participants are concerned with fairness and reciprocity. A number of contract options based (based on penalties and rewards) are also available. The game highlights issues of contract incentives, reciprocity, and strategy. [Details...]

42. Statistical Discrimination

Participants are divided into equal numbers of "workers" and "employers," with half of the workers being "green" and half "purple." At the beginning of each round, each worker sees a random cost of investment, which is an independent draw from a uniform distribution on [0, 100]. This cost draw is private information. [Details...]

Labor and Demographic Economics - Web Site

43. Factory Workers in the British Industrial Revolution

This site details factory workers in the British Industrial Revolution with an emphasis on how factory work greatly affected the life experiences of men and especially women and children. [Details...]

44. Unemployment in Eastern and Central Europe

Unemployment, once unknown and illegal in the formerly communist regimes in eastern and central Europe, has become a significant social and economic phenomenon. The rise in unemployment rates has been large but varied across countries. The transition from centrally planned economies to market-oriented economies has produced significant reductions in employment in the state sector as consumer-driven incentives begin to influence industrial structure. Reductions in employment in the state sector were partially offset by reductions in labor force particpation. Differences in the decline in labor force participation among countries led to significant differences in the relationship between unemployment growth and contraction in employment. However, the decline in labor force participation seems to be concentrated in the early stages of the transition, and in the future declining labor force participation is not likely to play as significant a role in dampening the growth of unemployment. [Details...]

45. Unemployment in Eastern and Central Europe

Unemployment, once unknown and illegal in the formerly communist regimes in eastern and central Europe, has become a significant social and economic phenomenon. The rise in unemployment rates has been large but varied across countries. The transition from centrally planned economies to market-oriented economies has produced significant reductions in employment in the state sector as consumer-driven incentives begin to influence industrial structure. Reductions in employment in the state sector were partially offset by reductions in labor force particpation. Differences in the decline in labor force participation among countries led to significant differences in the relationship between unemployment growth and contraction in employment. However, the decline in labor force participation seems to be concentrated in the early stages of the transition, and in the future declining labor force participation is not likely to play as significant a role in dampening the growth of unemployment. [Details...]

Labor and Demographic Economics - Course lecture

46. Wage Determination

Discussion on labor productivity, unions, minimum wage, and the monopsony wage model. [Details...]

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