Jobs with Equality

My new book is titled Jobs with Equality. It’s available from Oxford University Press (the publisher), Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others.

I’ve put the introductory chapter online.

Here’s a summary:

Income inequality has been rising in many of the world’s affluent countries, due to a variety of economic and social shifts. Redistribution can help, but government revenues are threatened by globalization and population aging. Like a growing number of observers, I see an increase in the employment rate as a way out of this impasse; it enlarges the tax base, allowing tax revenues to rise without an increase in tax rates. The question is: Can egalitarian institutions and policies be coupled with employment growth?

In the book I assess the experiences of rich nations since the late 1970s. I examine the impact on employment of six key policies and institutions: wage levels at the low end of the labor market, employment protection regulations, government benefit generosity, taxes, skills, and women-friendly policies.

It turns out that there is no parsimonious set of institutions and policies that have been key to good (or bad) employment performance. The comparative experience features multiple paths to employment success, including low-inequality ones. This suggests reason for optimism about possibilities for a high-employment, high-equality society.

Cover blurbs:

“This new book is a worthy successor to Lane Kenworthy’s much-acclaimed Egalitarian Capitalism. Combining academic rigor with a reader-friendly style, he explores how we might reconcile what many consider incompatible goals: more employment and greater equality. Drawing on systematic and empirically rich analyses, Kenworthy argues against any simplistic policy formula. The book makes especially lucrative reading when, in the latter half, it identifies the key ingredients of a win-win strategy. Jobs with Equality is destined to generate debate, all-the-while that it affirms Lane Kenworthy’s status as a leading scholar of social inequality.”  — Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

“On the premise that high employment is essential to the realization of egalitarian goals in the contemporary era, this important book explores how social policies and institutional arrangements in advanced capitalist societies have affected employment growth over the last three decades. Kenworthy synthesizes existing literature and presents new empirical findings based on original cross-national data and measurements. His most important contribution is to explore multiple determinants of employment performance and interactions among these determinants in systematic fashion. Very sensibly, the analysis yields policy recommendations that are specific by institutional context. For students of comparative political economy, the particular questions that Kenworthy addresses are now settled for some time to come.” — Jonas Pontusson, Princeton University

Chapter list:

1. Introduction


2. Why Should We Care About Inequality?

3. Sources of Equality and Inequality: Wages, Jobs, Households, and Redistribution


4. Measuring and Analyzing Employment Performance

5. Low-End Wages

6. Employment Protection Regulations

7. Government Benefits

8. Taxes

9. Skills

10. Women-Friendly Policies

11. Toward a High-Employment, High-Equality Society

8 thoughts on “Jobs with Equality

  1. I’m very much missing any consideration for unequal behavior.

    But despite my strong free-market support, I think income inequality is a big issue — copyright should probably no longer be gov’t enforced.

  2. “The question is: Can egalitarian institutions and policies be coupled with employment growth?”

    I will answer that with a resounding YES! Do you know that in the former Deutsche Demokratische Republik there was nearly 100% employment? And did you also know that, not only were there egalitarian institutions and policies, the entire state-concept was the embodiment of egalitarian principles: the so-called Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Staat otherwise known as the Worker and Farmer State.

    Everybody was equal and always employed, except for the Asozialen or asocials, as they were called, who usually spend their days presenting their shabby selves in front of stores or other public places, swilling bier from brown colored .5L bottles and shouted rude paroles at passers-by. Incorrigibles they were!

    But for the rest of society, egalitarianism was serious business. Did you know that co-workers were routinely sent to absent colleagues’ homes to monitor their activities? Do you know about the Stasi? Just think, an absent worker could indicate a serious problem, like a potential foil to the socialist state apparatus.

    Even the beloved leader was a confirmed Egalitarian. Erich Honecker rose from his modest beginnings as a roofer apprentice—a real man of the proletariat–to become the leader of the Soviet Union’s country exemplar, East Germany. And do you know that when his tenure was over, in 1989, there wasn’t a roof to be found that didn’t leak. I wonder why.

  3. Congratulations on publishing your book, Lane! I’m looking forward to reading it!

  4. I too am looking forward to reading how reverse descrimination can be most effectively applied, and how to shift the tax burden onto traditional families.

    Is there a section on politburos?

  5. Without equality there can be no justice, without justice there can be no peace and without peace there can be no prosperity.

    If a paycheck is good enough for 99% of us, it’s good enough for all of us! (As there isn’t nor will there ever be enough ‘market share’ for us all to run our own little gig.)

    Good luck with your book!

  6. I am agree with you. Without Equality no one can find good job according his/her talent. There should be equality in everywhere regarding to jobs or other fields. High employment is essential to the realization of egalitarian goals in the contemporary era. Congratulations lane’s for your nice book….

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