Downsizing in America: Reality, Causes, and Consequences

Downsizing in America: Reality, Causes, and Consequences

by William J. Baumol, Alan S. Blinder, Edward N. Wolff
     
 

ISBN-10: 0871541386

ISBN-13: 9780871541383

Pub. Date: 04/28/2005

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

"Downsizing in America offers a range of compelling hypotheses to account for adoption of downsizing as an accepted business practice. In the short run, many companies experiencing difficulties due to decreased sales, cash flow problems, or declining securities prices reduced their workforces temporarily, expanding them again when business conditions improved. The…  See more details below

Overview

"Downsizing in America offers a range of compelling hypotheses to account for adoption of downsizing as an accepted business practice. In the short run, many companies experiencing difficulties due to decreased sales, cash flow problems, or declining securities prices reduced their workforces temporarily, expanding them again when business conditions improved. The most significant trigger leading to long-term downsizing was the rapid change in technology. Companies rid themselves of their least skilled workers and subsequently hired employees who were better prepared to work with new technology, which in some sectors reduced the size of firms at which production is most efficient." "Baumol, Blinder, and Wolff also reveal what they call the dirty little secret of downsizing: it is profitable in part because it holds down wages. Downsizing in America shows that reducing employee rolls increased profits, since downsizing firms spent less money on wages relative to output but it did not increase productivity. Nor did unions impede downsizing. The authors show that unionized industries were actually more likely to downsize in order to eliminate expensive union labor. In sum, downsizing transferred income from labor to capital - from workers to owners." Downsizing in America combines an investigation of the underlying realities and causes of workforce reduction with an insightful analysis of the consequent shift in the balance of power between management and labor, to provide us with a deeper understanding of one of the major economic shifts of recent times - one with far-reaching implications for all American workers.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871541383
Publisher:
Russell Sage Foundation
Publication date:
04/28/2005
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1What is Downsizing? An Overview1
Ch. 2Downsizing and the Press: Perception and Reality28
Ch. 3Theoretical Underpinnings of Downsizing63
Ch. 4Is American Business Really Downsizing? The Facts92
Ch. 5Downsizing in U.S. Manufacturing: An Empirical Analysis of Causes131
Ch. 6Upsizing in the Retail and Service Industries: Causes and Correlates181
Ch. 7A Closer Look at U.S. Manufacturing: The Consequences of Downsizing194
Ch. 8Downsizing and Increasing Turbulence in the Labor Market234
Ch. 9What Have We Learned About Downsizing? Conclusions258
AppOur Newspaper Search268
Notes290
References303
Index313

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >