The Challenge of Segmented Labor Market Theories to Orthodox Theory: A Survey.

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    • Abstract:
      This paper examines the recent assault on the conventional neoclassical school by a group of labor economists in the United States who espouse what I shall refer to as theories of segmented labor markets (hereafter SLM), although the theories are diverse and go by many names.[1] Although it is a thesis of this paper that SLM theories are continuations of older debates, their present form began to emerge in the 1960's. It was a time of social reform connected with the "war on poverty" and the drive for full participation in the economy by minority groups, including women, who may be said to constitute an "economic minority." Dissatisfaction with the pace and direction of reform in these areas and dissatisfaction with the conventional analysis of the problems and their remedies have led to disagreements within the economics profession. The SLM economists were allied with other economists, sometimes as part of the Union of Radical Political Economists, in challenging other aspects of established economic theory and practices. No doubt the emergence of radical economists was related to the protest against many noneconomic aspects of American society in the 1960's, particularly U.S. war policies, but these connections will not be pursued. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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