The Changing Nature of Work
Edited by Frank Ackerman, Neva R. Goodwin, Laurie Dougherty, and Kevin Gallagher; Foreword by Robert Reich Island Press, 1998 Library of Congress HD4901.C427 1998 | Dewey Decimal 331
Human impacts on the environment are largely driven by economic forces. If a more ecologically sustainable world is to be achieved, significant changes must be made to the current growth- and consumption-dependent economic system. The Frontier Issues in Economic Thought series was designed to assist the growing number of economists and others who are responding to the need for new thinking about economics in the face of environmental and social forces that are reshaping the world.The Changing Nature of Work examines the causes and effects of the rapid transformation of the world of work. It provides concise summaries of the key writings on work and workplace issues, extending the frontiers of labor economics to include the often overlooked social and psychological dimensions of work.The book begins with a foreword by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich that presents labor in contemporary perspective. An introductory overview provides a brief history of the changing nature of work and situates current problems in the context of longer-term developments. Following that are eight topical sections that feature three- to five-page summaries for each of the ten to twelve most important articles or book chapters on a subject.Sections cover.new directions in labor economics social and psychological dimensions of work and unemployment globalization and labor new technologies and organizational change flexibility and internal labor markets new patterns of industrial relations family, gender, paid and unpaid work difference and diversity in the workplaceThe book provides a roadmap for scholars on the vast and diverse literature concerning labor issues, and affords students a quick overview of that rapidly changing field. It is an important contribution to the series and is a valuable book for anyone interested in labor, as well as for students and scholars of labor economics, industrial sociology, industrial relations, social psychology, and their respective disciplines.
The Consumer Society
Edited by Neva R. Goodwin, Frank Ackerman, and David Kiron Island Press, 1997 Library of Congress HF5415.33.U6C66 1997 | Dewey Decimal 306.34
The developed countries, particularly the United States, consume a disproportionate share of the world's resources, yet high and rising levels of consumption do not necessarily lead to greater satisfaction, security, or well-being, even for affluent consumers.The Consumer Society provides brief summaries of the most important and influential writings on the environmental, moral, and social implications of a consumer society and consumer lifestyles. Each section consists of ten to twelve summaries of critical writings in a specific area, with an introductory essay that outlines the state of knowledge in that area and indicates where further research is needed. Sections cover: Scope and Definition Consumption in the Affluent Society Family, Gender, and Socialization The History of Consumerism Foundations of Economic Theories of Consumption Critiques and Alternatives in Economic Theory Perpetuating Consumer Culture: Media, Advertising, and Wants Creation Consumption and the Environment Globalization and Consumer Culture Visions of an Alternative This book is the second volume in the Frontier Issues in Economic Thought series, which provides surveys of the most significant writings in emergent areas of economics -- an invaluable aid in fast-growing fields where genuine new ground is being broken. The series brings together economists, sociologists, psychologists, and philosophers to develop analyses that challenge and enrich the dominant neoclassical paradigm.The Consumer Society is an essential guide to and summary of the literature of consumption and will be of interest to anyone concerned with the deeper economic, social, and ethical implications of consumerism.
Human Well-Being and Economic Goals
Edited by Frank Ackerman, David Kiron, Neva R. Goodwin, Jonathan M. Harris, andKevin P. Gallagher; Foreword by Kenneth Arrow Island Press, 1997 Library of Congress HB98.2.H85 1997 | Dewey Decimal 330.157
What are the ends of economic activity? According to neoclassical theory, efficient interaction of the profit-maximizing "ideal producer" and the utility-maximizing "ideal consumer" will eventually lead to some sort of social optimum. But is that social optimum the same as human well-being? Human Well-Being and Economic Goals addresses that issue, considering such questions as:
Does the maximization of individual welfare really lead to social welfare?
How can we deal with questions of relative welfare and of equity?
How do we define, or at least understand, individual and social welfare?
And how can these things be measured, or even assessed?
Human Well-Being and Economic Goals brings together more than 75 concise summaries of the most significant literature in the field that consider issues of present and future individual and social welfare, national development, consumption, and equity. Like its predecessors in the Frontier Issues in Economic Thought series, it takes a multidisciplinary approach to economic concerns, examining their sociological, philosophical, and psychological aspects and implications as well as their economic underpinnings.
Human Well-Being and Economic Goals provides a powerful introduction to the current and historical writings that examine the concept of human well-being in ways that can help us to set goals for economic activity and judge its success. It is a valuable summary and overview for students, economists, and social scientists concerned with these issues.
“Cost-benefit analysis” is a term that is used so frequently we rarely stop to think about it. But relying on it can lead to some dubious conclusions, as Frank Ackerman points out in this eye-opening book. For example, some economists have argued that states should encourage—and even subsidize—cigarette smoking by citizens because smoking will shorten life spans and therefore reduce the need and expense of caring for the elderly. How did the economists reach that conclusion? The answer is cost-benefit analysis, Ackerman explains.
Then in clear, understandable language, he describes an alternative, precautionary approach to making decisions under uncertainty. Once a mere theory, the precautionary principle has now been applied in practice through the European Union’s REACH protocol. Citing major studies, many of which he has directed, he shows that the precautionary approach has not only worked, but has been relatively cheap.
Poisoned for Pennies shows how the misuse of cost-benefit analysis is impeding efforts to clean up and protect our environment, especially in the case of toxic chemicals. According to Ackerman, conservatives—in elected office, in state and federal regulatory agencies, and in businesses of every size—have been able to successfully argue that environmental clean-up and protection are simply too expensive. But he proves, that is untrue in case after case.
Ackerman is already well known for his carefully reasoned attacks on the conventional wisdom about the costs of environmental regulation. This new book, which finds Ackerman ranging from psychological research to risk analysis to the benefits of aggressive pesticide regulation, and from mad cow disease to lead paint, will further his reputation as a thought leader in environmental protection. We can’t afford not to listen to him.
The earnest warnings of an impending "solid waste crisis" that permeated the 1980s provided the impetus for the widespread adoption of municipal recycling programs. Since that time America has witnessed a remarkable rise in public participation in recycling activities, including curbside collection, drop-off centers, and commercial and office programs. Recently, however, a backlash against these programs has developed. A vocal group of "anti-recyclers" has appeared, arguing that recycling is not an economically efficient strategy for addressing waste management problems.In Why Do We Recycle? Frank Ackerman examines the arguments for and against recycling, focusing on the debate surrounding the use of economic mechanisms to determine the value of recycling. Based on previously unpublished research conducted by the Tellus Institute, a nonprofit environmental research group in Boston, Massachusetts, Ackerman presents an alternative view of the theory of market incentives, challenging the notion that setting appropriate prices and allowing unfettered competition will result in the most efficient level of recycling. Among the topics he considers are: externality issues -- unit pricing for waste disposal, effluent taxes, virgin materials subsidies, advance disposal fees the landfill crisis and disposal facility siting container deposit ("bottle bill") legislation environmental issues that fall outside of market theory calculating costs and benefits of municipal recycling programs life-cycle analysis and packaging policy -- Germany's "Green Dot" packaging system and producer responsibility the impacts of production in extractive and manufacturing industries composting and organic waste management economics of conservation, and material use and long-term sustainability Ackerman explains why purely economic approaches to recycling are incomplete and argues for a different kind of decisionmaking, one that addresses social issues, future as well as present resource needs, and non-economic values that cannot be translated into dollars and cents.Backed by empirical data and replete with specific examples, the book offers valuable guidance for municipal planners, environmental managers, and policymakers responsible for establishing and implementing recycling programs. It is also an accessible introduction to the subject for faculty, students, and concerned citizens interested in the social, economic, and ethical underpinnings of recycling efforts.