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Labor Markets and Employment Relationships: A Comprehensive Approach


This innovative text grounds the economic analysis of labor markets and employment relationships in a unified theoretical treatment of labor exchange conditions. In addition to providing thorough coverage of standard topics including labor supply and demand, human capital theory, and compensating wage differentials, the text draws on game theory and the economics of information to study the implications of key departures from perfectly competitive labor market conditions. Analytical results are consistently applied to contemporary policy issues and empirical debates.

The text is supplemented by text boxes that illustrate key concepts with real-world applications, chapter appendices that explore technical material in greater depth, and end-of-chapter study questions that encourage students to apply, extend, and critically evaluate the theories under study.

Joyce P. Jacobsen is Professor of Economics at Wesleyan University. She is the author of The Economics of Gender, Second Edition (Blackwell) as well as numerous research articles. She has also taught at Rhodes College, Harvard University and Northwestern University.

Gilbert L. Skillman is Associate Professor of Economics. He has also taught at Brown University and spent a term as Research Associate at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences in Uppsala. He has published a number of articles on the economics of employment and organization.


Introduction: Labor Economics and the Political Economy of Labor.

Part I: Labor Demand and Supply:.

1. Labor Supply.

2. Labor Demand.

3. Perfectly Competitive Labor Markets.

4. Imperfectly Competitive Labor Markets.

Part II: The Labor Exchange:.

5. The Structure of Labor Exchange.

6. Strategic Labor Exchange.

7. Bargaining in Labor Exchange.

8. Imperfect Contracting in Labor Exchange.

Part III: The Employment Relationship:.

9. The Nature of the Employment Relationship.

10. Employee Compensation and Incentive Provision.

11. Employment Continuity and Internal Labor Markets.

12. Employee Representation in the Workplace.

Part IV: Labor Market Divisions:.

13. Wages and Working Conditions.

14. Education and Ability.

15. Employee Characteristics and Discrimination.

16. Employer Characteristics and Market Segmentation.

Part V: Labor in the Market System:.

17. Earnings Inequality.

18. Unemployment.

19. Labor Market Dynamics.