Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America

By Richard Vedder; Lowell Gallaway | Go to book overview

14

Who Bears the Burden of
Unemployment?

The considerable variations in the aggregate magnitudes of unemployment over time and space and according to time horizon (long versus short run) disguise important demographic, racial, and gender differences in unemployment. In many recent years, teenage unemployment rates have been triple the overall unemployment rate, and at times there have been more modest, but noticeable, differences in unemployment by gender. Far and away the most interesting and potentially divisive differential, however, is that with respect to race.

Many writers have studied these differences intensively. In a general survey of a century of unemployment, we cannot hope to explore them in as much detail as some would think desirable. For example, we have not used the micro data sets available only for recent decades, since that departs from the historical nature of this volume, and those data are not strictly comparable to some earlier figures available from the census. At the same time, however, to ignore these differentials completely would lead us to neglect an important part of the twentieth-century unemployment story. Accordingly, we have decided to point out some facts on these demographic, gender, and race differences in a historical context, and suggest some reasons why they may exist.

-268-

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Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Out of Work *
  • About the Authors *
  • Contents *
  • Foreword viii
  • Preface xii
  • 1 - The Unemployment Century 1
  • 2 - Unemployment in Theory 13
  • 3 - The Neoclassical/Austrian Approach: an Overview 31
  • 4 - The Gilded Age 53
  • 5 - From New Era to New Deal 74
  • 6 - The Banking Crisis and the Labor Market 112
  • 7 - The New Deal 128
  • 8 - The Impossible Dream Come True 150
  • 9 - The Gentle Time 176
  • 10 - The Camelot Years 194
  • 11 - Pride Goeth before a Fall 209
  • 12 - The Winds of Change 226
  • 13 - The Natural Rate of Unemployment 246
  • 14 - Who Bears the Burden of Unemployment? 268
  • 15 - Unemployment and the State 288
  • Appendix 298
  • Bibliography 308
  • Index 329
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