Labor Market Adjustments to Structural Change and Technological Progress

January 01, 1990

This volume brings together an international group of contributors to explore the impacts of structural economic change and technological progress on labor markets. The contributors goal is to present an in-depth comparative study of the ways in which different national economies have adjusted to structural changes like the shift to service-based economies and technological changes brought about by the increasing use of the computer in offices and on the production line. Examining the adjustment process from both a micro and macro perspective, the contributors analyze the flexibility potentials within the different institutional organizations of the labor market in the U.S., France, West Germany, Great Britain, and Sweden.

The study begins with a comprehensive introduction written by the editors which discusses the problem of structural and technological change in economic, social, and political terms. Two subsequent chapters address the economic structures of post-industrial society and the differential characteristics of employment growth in service industries. The contributors then present individual analyses of the labor market situation in the five countries under study as well as two general studies of institutions regulating the labor market and flexibility within the labor market. Throughout, the contributors are concerned with key issues such as which systems seem to adapt best, how skill and educational needs may be met in the changing labor market, and the importance of flexibility in a system characterized by ongoing structural and technological change. Ideal as supplementary reading for advanced courses in labor economics and industrial organization, this volume offers important new insights into labor market flexibility in the face of significant and continuing change.