Labour Market Evolution
The Economic History of Market Integration, Wage Flexibility and the Employment Relation
Edited by George Grantham, Mary MacKinnon
Routledge – 1994 – 340 pages
How have modern labour markets developed? Both labour economists and economic historians agree that it is necessary to look at labour markets in their historical context. Labour Market Evolution does just this.
The contributors examine the operation and development of labour markets in Western Europe and North America since 1500. They address the key questions in this complicated process using new quantitative evidence. First, how closely connected were geographically distant labour markets? Second, how flexible were markets in the past - did wages change in response to demand shocks? Did workers move across space and occupations in response to cyclical or seasonal conditions. Third, were relationships between employees and employers short-term or long-term? Why did relationships change, and what were the implications for the flexibility and integration of markets? In examining these factors, this volume draws on modern labour economic theory and up-to-date quantitative techniques to show how current traditions and systems have evolved.