The behaviour of the labour market is widely seen as the cause of the UK's poor macroeconomic performance from the mid-1960s. The functioning of the labour market is addressed in this book, first published in 1994, by an international group of economists. They assemble micro and macroeconomic evidence on the UK, the US, France and Germany, and discuss whether the UK labour market is different, and also if it has changed over time. The microeconomic evidence is assessed by Blanchflower and Freeman and by Gregg and Machin. The Thatcher reforms to industrial relations, surveyed by Metcalf, appear to have increased inequality without producing a more flexible labour market. Gregory and Sandoval suggest that minimum wages might have helped alleviate the rise in inequality in the UK. The effects of the reforms of the 1980s are unclear. Minford and Riley suggest that they have had an impact, whilst Barrell, Pain and Young present evidence that little has changed. The micro and macroeconomic approaches are complemented by Grubb's detailed survey of the effects of labour market policies as well as by the overview paper by Anderton and Mayhew.
• Wide variety of comparative evidence on the UK labour market • First attempt to assess the effects of the Thatcher reforms on the UK labour market • Presents a number of findings on the causes of inequality and poverty in the UK
Introduction Ray Barrell; 1. A comparative analysis of the UK labour market Bob Anderton and Ken Mayhew; 2. Did the Thatcher reforms change British labour market performance? David G. Blanchflower and Richard B. Freeman; 3. Is the UK rise in inequality different? Paul Gregg and Stephen MacHin; 4. Transformation of British industrial relations? Institutions, conduct and outcomes: 1980–90 David Metcalf; 5. Low pay and minimum wage protection in Britain and the EC Mary Gregory and Véronique Sandoval; 6. Direct and indirect effects of active labour market policies in OECD countries David Grubb; 7. Structural differences in European labour markets Ray Barrell, Nigel Pain and Garry Young; 8. The UK labour market: micro rigidities and macro obstructions Patrick Minford and Jonathan Riley.
' … by far the best collection of investigations yet into the impact of the 1980s reforms … ' Will Hutton, The Guardian