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Book Cover
Author Lawrence, Robert Z., 1949-

Title Blue-collar blues : is trade to blame for rising US income inequality? / Robert Z. Lawrence
Published Washington, D.C. : Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2008


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
Description xiii, 89 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Series Policy analyses in international economics ; 85
Policy analyses in international economics ; 85
Contents Introduction -- The wage-productivity gap, 1981-2006 -- Wage inequality and trade -- Class inequality and trade -- Globalization, stock options, and the super rich -- Job dislocation: past and future -- Conclusion
Summary "International trade accounts for only a small share of growing income inequality and labor-market displacement in the United States. Lawrence deconstructs the gap in real blue-collar wages and labor productivity growth between 1981 and 2006 and estimates how much higher these wages might have been had income growth been distributed proportionately and how much of the gap is due to measurement and technical factors. While increased trade with developing countries may have played some part in causing greater inequality in the 1980s, surprisingly, over the past decade the impact of such trade on inequality has been relatively small. Rising income inequality and slow real wage growth since 2000 reflect strong profit growth and dramatic income gains for the top 1 percent of wage earners, a development that is more closely related to asset-market performance and technological and institutional innovations than to conventional trade in goods and services
The minor role of trade suggests that any policy that focuses narrowly on trade to deal with wage inequality and job loss is likely to be ineffective. Instead, policymakers should (a) use the tax system to improve income distribution and (b) implement adjustment policies to deal more generally with worker and community dislocation."--BOOK JACKET
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 79-83) and index
Subject Income distribution -- United States.
Wages -- United States.
International trade.
United States -- Commerce.
Author Peterson Institute for International Economics.
LC no. 2007049601
ISBN 9780881324143 (alk. paper)
0881324140 (alk. paper)