Reducing Unemployment: A Case for Government Deregulation

By Garry K. Ottosen; Douglas N. Thompson | Go to book overview

discretion will result in a lower unemployment rate. But if, on average, state discretion increases reservation wages and/or reduces work incentives in the United States, then the unemployment rate will increase. There is, however, ample reason to believe that state discretion, on average, will result in welfare reforms that emphasize the other parts of the welfare reform consensus. To date, states have been at the forefront of introducing such programs as workfare and increased parental financial responsibility. More state discretion would likely result in more experimentation in these and other areas that will, over time, help reduce the U.S. unemployment rate. We say "over time" because, as states experiment with new programs, some will work and some will not. Those that work will be copied. Competition between states will lead to the best programs gaining widespread acceptance. With welfare policy being dictated from the national government, very little experimentation and competition can occur. 24

In summary, virtually all of the parts of the welfare reform consensus identified by Reischauer have the potential to help reduce the U.S. unemployment rate. We therefore recommend that welfare reform incorporating this consensus be enacted.


NOTES
1.
Wall Street Journal, May 12, 1993, p. A14.
2.
See Murray Rubin, "Federal-State Relations in Unemployment Insurance," in W. Lee Hansen and James F. Byers (eds.), Unemployment Insurance: The Second Half-Century ( Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990).
3.
Report to the President of the Committee on Economic Security ( Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1935).
4.
Richard K. Vedder and Lowell E. Gallaway, Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America ( New York: Holmes & Meier, 1993).
5.
Ibid.
6.
David R. Henderson, "The Europeanization of the U.S. Labor Market," Public Interest 113 (Fall 1993), pp. 66-81.
7.
Ibid.
8.
Ibid.
9.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook ( Washington, DC: IMF, May 1994), p. 36.
10.
Lawrence F. Katz and Bruce D. Meyer, "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment,"

-96-

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Reducing Unemployment: A Case for Government Deregulation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chapter 1 - THE COSTS OF UNEMPLOYMENT 1
  • Notes 10
  • Chapter 2 - THE NAIRU 11
  • Notes 28
  • Chapter 3 - A FAULTY DIAGNOSIS OF UNEMPLOYMENT 30
  • Notes 48
  • Chapter 4 - BUSINESS COSTS, GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS, AND THE NAIRU 51
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter 5 - UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, SOCIAL WELFARE, AND THE NAIRU 75
  • Notes 96
  • Chapter 6 - THE UNION WAGE PREMIUM AND THE NAIRU 98
  • Notes 114
  • Chapter 7 - UNION PRODUCTIVITY EFFECTS, LABOR LAW, AND THE NAIRU 117
  • Notes 133
  • Chapter 8 - PRODUCTIVITY AND THE NAIRU 136
  • Notes 143
  • Chapter 9 - SUMMARY 144
  • Notes 155
  • Bibliography 157
  • Index 165
  • About the Authors 173
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