Unemployment in Theory and Practice examines the effectiveness of current policies in the battle against unemployment. It uses a variety of country case studies to analyse the range of potential causes of and cures for unemployment and analyses the complex nature of labour markets. This volume surveys the policy options and prescribes a mix of both macro and microeconomic policies to combat unemployment effectively. The contributors address the issue of policy targeted groups, including self-employed and older workers, and offer a comprehensive survey of key empirical findings. Issues considered include the rising number of self-employed in Australia and the labour market prospects for the aged in Germany. Particular labour market policies are discussed including the role of training and concerted international action through social democratic and trade union collaboration. The nature of unemployment in countries characterized by economic and social transformation, such as Bulgaria and Poland, is also analysed in detail. The final section of the book is dedicated to wage policy and compensatory pay for the unemployed.
It challenges the conventional neoclassical wisdom that wage constraints and limited trade union power will necessarily lead to labour market improvements and reduced unemployment. Evidence from Germany and South Africa is used to argue that collective action is a promising policy alternative. International in scope, the book will be essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students of economics, political economy, industrial relations and international economics. It will also appeal to professional economists, sociologists, political scientists, trade unionists and policy advisors.