Unemployment, Labor Relations, and Unit Labor Costs

Posted: 29 Jan 2014

See all articles by James B. Rebitzer

James B. Rebitzer

Boston University School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Date Written: May 1988

Abstract

In his seminal 1943 paper on the political business cycle, Michal Kalecki (1971) argued that industrial leaders feared full employment because the economic insecurity created by unemployment was necessary to keep wages low and maintain work intensity and discipline on the shop floor. On the basis of this reasoning, Kalecki concluded that governments would not use demand management policies to achieve permanent "full employment." In terms of current macroeconomic debates, Kalecki had sketched the outlines of a theory of the "neutral" or "natural" rate of unemployment based on the importance of disciplinary unemployment as a regulator of unit labor costs.

Suggested Citation

Rebitzer, James B., Unemployment, Labor Relations, and Unit Labor Costs (May 1988). American Economic Review, Vol. 78, No. 2, 1988. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2386792

James B. Rebitzer (Contact Author)

Boston University School of Management ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

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