Unemployment: Policy Responses of Western Democracies

Unemployment: Policy Responses of Western Democracies

Unemployment: Policy Responses of Western Democracies

Unemployment: Policy Responses of Western Democracies

Synopsis

Richardson and Henning have collected contributions that explore the measures taken by the UK, USA, France, West Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland to solve the problem of unemployment. Common approaches as well as divergent approaches are examined in the light of international similarities and differences. The problem of unemployment is examined from a political perspective (how elections can be won or lost over the unemployment question), from an economic perspective (how governments weigh unemployment against other economic objectives), and from a social perspective (the effect unemployment has on ordinary people). The result is a most thorough exploration of unemployment and the relative effectiveness of different governments' policy in tackling it.

Excerpt

There is no doubt that unemployment is the most serious political issue facing Western democracies today, ranking far higher than inflation, defence, housing or health. As a result, all governments are engaged in formulating public policies in an attempt to create more 'real' jobs in their economies or to devise means of absorbing the army of unemployed workers in a range of publicly funded schemes. Moreover, the problem of financing these public policies is of increasing seriousness for governments, as the expenditures tend to be very difficult to control. the British case is typical in this respect, with Mrs Thatcher's government trying to maintain strict control over public expenditure on the one hand, while facing huge welfare payments to the unemployed on the other. Unemployment is therefore a singularly difficult issue for governments to process in any effective way, yet all of them are forced by public opinion to attempt what may be the impossible.

The matter is particularly intractable because of the high degree of international interdependency in economic affairs. It is difficult for any one government to solve the unemployment problem in the context of a world recession. An isolated dash for growth is almost certain to end in disaster in the absence of a more general world recovery. in any case, most governments appear to accept the argument that public expenditure must be controlled more effectively or indeed reduced. They thus generally reject a conventional reflation as a means of achieving growth. Instead, there is a belief in 'increasing the international competitiveness' of each national economy and a desire to identify and support the new industries of the future.

Our volume attempts to present the broad picture of responses to unemployment in seven Western countries — the uk, France, West Germany, usa, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland — as well as including a general review of youth unemployment subsidies in the eec. in addition to the broad country studies, we have included a few studies of a narrower kind, because they illustrate particularly important and interesting aspects of the unemployment problem. For example, we have included a chapter on local government responses to unemployment in order to illustrate the fact that measures attempting to deal with unemployment do not emanate solely from central government. the chapter on enterprise zones in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.