ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Skill-Fetishism

Skill-Fetishism Income Distribution: Analysis and Holland/American Elsevier; price n ANY new work by Tinbergen has to be treated with respect. This pioneering econometrician continues to be a fervent believer in the good which supposedly can be ushered in through painstaking quantitative analysis. He remains a seeker after knowledge; such knowledge, he assumes, is, in all seasons, a great civilizer: remove the imperfections of knowledge and all will be set right in this world. Perhaps because he is anxious that even mbler elements in society should be able to partake of the fruits of scientific enquiry, Tinbergen, particularly in more recent years, has been increasingly laying stress on, and proceeding on the basis of, simplistic assumptions and tools. And this despite the risk of the simplicity being mistaken by others as a variant of naivete' ORIGINATION IN MARKET PLACE The present volume illustrates the genre. It attempts "to integrate some of the main economic theories on the distribution of incomes in Western developed countries''. Incomes, in Tinbergen's schematics, originate in the market place. In the market place, the principal phenomena which unravel themselves are demand and supply. The demand for, and supply of, different categories of labour determine the income differ- ntials which obtain in the market. Therefore all Tinbergen is interested in this book is to arrive at a generalised model of income distribution made up of a number of mutually consistent price (or, if you will, supply-demand- equalising) equations. It is easy to describe how he proceeds. He begins by presenting data, for a number of countries in the West and for varying periods, pertaining to income distribution. This helps him to choose certain preliminary hypotheses about how income inequality could be narrowed. He then goes on to construct a number of partial labour market models, where only incomes and employment arc considered as endogenous and the explanatory variables are all exogenous. Labour supply is supposed to be determined by educational levels and distribution; the demand for labour is assumed to be influenced by the average income of the economic sector being considered. Historical and cross-section data for Policies, by Jan Tinbergen; North ot stated.

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