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Index of Volumes

VOLUME 136, NUMBER 3 1997/3



Full employment in the industrialized countries, by Andrew BRITTON

"Full employment" is here explored in the context of today's profoundly changed industrialized working environment. Arguing that it encompasses relative poverty and the quality and income-generating capacity of jobs as well as low unemployment, the author defines it as an equilibrium that must be made acceptable on both social and economic grounds. Contrasting conditions before and after 1970, he considers patterns of output growth and use of labour that are compatible with full employment, and the existing diversity of employment contracts. Finally, he focuses on the difficult but unavoidable policy decisions needed for it to be achieved and maintained.

Theories of occupational segregation by sex: An overview, by Richard ANKER

Occupational segregation by sex occurs everywhere, causing labour market rigidity and economic inefficiency, wasting human resources, preventing change, disadvantaging women and perpetuating gender inequalities. The author reviews the principal theoretical explanations for its existence and persistence: neo-classical and human capital; institutional and labour market segmentation; and gender discrimination. Its complex relationship with female-male pay differentials is also explored. Though all prove pertinent, the most compelling explanations of occupational segregation by sex are gender theories, given the enormous overlap in abilities and preferences of individual men and women.

Occupational segregation by sex in Nordic countries: An empirical investigation, by Helinä MELKAS and Richard ANKER

The Nordic countries are commonly associated with strong political commitment to gender equality. But the reality is more complex. Examining data for some 200 occupations over the period 1970-90, the authors find that one-third of all workers in Finland, Norway and Sweden would have to change occupation to eliminate occupational segregation by sex, which is substantially higher than that found in other OECD countries. Often working in female-dominated occupations or part-time employment, women are under-represented in senior positions and typically earn less than men. The underlying segregation impairs not only gender equality but also overall economic efficiency.

The social construction of office space, by Christopher BALDRY

The internal and external appearance of offices is far from value-free, shows this review of their built environment. Pointing to the synchronous development of office buildings, space and work, the author explains the links between changes in the physical space and in the social significance of office work. Using social and architectural histories and contemporary accounts, he illustrates the interaction of social and architectural structures, tracing shifts in the signals sent by the office environment to its occupants -- from the high-trust, high-status clerks in Dickensian counting-houses to the low-trust, low-status white-collar workers in today's plate-glass structures and back offices.

Impact on workers of reduced trade barriers: The case of Tunisia and Morocco, by Mongi BOUGHZALA

In 1995 Tunisia and Morocco committed themselves to a 12-year time-frame for dismantling their trade barriers against manufactured imports from the European Union -- a step towards constructing a Euro-Mediterranean Economic Area. Drawing on existing research, trade theory and empirical evidence, Boughzala presents a stylized model to explore the likely impact of this move on the two countries' labour markets. Wages for unskilled labour will at best not fall, but net job creation could be substantial if the dynamic effects of trade liberalization attract foreign direct investment into competitive sectors and expand more skill-intensive exports.


Devaluation of the CFA franc four years on: Economic integration and employment on the agenda.


Updated by MCN. Last update: 11 July 2005.