How Unregulated Is the U.S. Labor Market? The Penal System as a Labor Market Institution1

  title={How Unregulated Is the U.S. Labor Market? The Penal System as a Labor Market Institution1},
  author={Bruce Western and Katherine Beckett},
  journal={American Journal of Sociology},
  pages={1030 - 60}
Comparative research contrasts the corporatist welfare states of Europe with the unregulated U.S. labor market to explain low rates of U.S. unemployment in the 1980s and 1990s. In contrast, this article argues that the U.S. state made a large and coercive intervention into the labor market through the expansion of the penal system. The impact of incarceration on unemployment has two conflicting dynamics. In the short run, U.S. incarceration lowers conventional unemployment measures by removing… 
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List of FiguresList of TablesAcknowledgmentsAbbreviations1Class Power, Market Power, and the Comparative Method32Variation in Union Membership143Labor Market Centralization294The Ghent