Tilly and Tilly, Capitalist Work and Labor Markets



Tilly and Tilly set out to map the world of work. They start with three theoretical approaches:

Neo-classical, Marxist and Institutionalist. What are the two main dimensions of each?


They put "work" in a historical perspective. What is work?

Labor markets become dominant only in the 19th century. Labor markets are always segmented, firms maintain access effectively only to a small fraction of the available labor pool. What segments labor markets?

What are internal and external labor markets?


Not all work is linked to occupations. What are occupations?

How are occupations different from professions?


The authors then turn to the firm. Firms have a choice of contracting arrangements: contract out or hire in. Firms become large because they choose the second. Tilly and Tilly describes this process more as a choice driven by capitalists desire to increase control than by economic rationality.

Employers want not just to minimize costs, but also to increase their own flexibility and their worker's predictability.

Employers face three constraints according to Osterman: 1 physical technology, 2 social technology, 3 nature of the available labor, 4 state policies.

Then they proceed to talk about segmentation (non-competing groups). What is the primary and the secondary labor market? What further distinction do they add?

What three patterns of mobility do they distinguish?

They describe internal labor markets (promotions) by 1 the extent promotion is internal, 2 the paths leading to the job, 3 who follows what promotion paths (gender, race etc.).

Then they talk about the way people and jobs get matched.

What is their three main criticism of the neo-classical model?

The important elements of this sorting is:

They conclude with some ideas how jobs change. How do employers and how do employees change work?