|About the Book|
Up to now, most radical, as well as neoclassical, economists have assumed that significant wage differentials among workers of similar skill and ability will endure only when competition in the capital and/or labor market is seriously restricted. In contrast, this work uses a classical Marxist analysis of real capitalist competition to show that substantial patterns of wage disparity can persist despite high levels of competition and significant degrees of labor mobility. Indeed, Howard Botwinick argues in this provocative book that capitalist competition often militates against the equalization of wage rates. An analytical strength of this new approach is that critical institutionalist insights concerning the impact of unions and industry structure can now be rigorously incorporated within a highly competitive framework. Thus, this book provides unorthodox economists with a robust alternative to efficiency wage theories, which are once again suggesting that unions have little long-term effect on the inter-industry wage structure. In addition to providing the basis for a new explanation for the persistence of race and gender inequality, the work has important implications for effective trade union strategies in an increasingly competitive environment. Contrary to corporate calls for team production systems and other forms of labor-management cooperation, Botwinick argues that labors most effective strategy is to build wider levels of militant union organization that can once again take wages and working conditions out of capitalist competition.