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ERIC Number: ED457337
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Pages: 90
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Just Transition? Lessons from Defense Worker Adjustment in the 1990s. Technical Paper No. 237.
Powers, Laura; Markusen, Ann
A study examined the experiences of some 1.4 million American defense industry workers, displaced in the wake of the Cold War, as a way of reviewing and evaluating national policies toward worker adjustment and re-employment as they have evolved in the 1990s. The study found that the federal government, through the Department of Labor, acknowledged responsibility for the unemployment resulting from the end of the Cold War and that new types of programs were needed for these displaced workers. However, results of the initiatives spawned by these policies were mixed. Key conclusions of the study include the following: (1) the federal government endorsed a radically "marketized" approach (supporting mergers, encouraging firms to seek foreign military markets rather than to diversify at home, and favoring short-term technological fixes) to labor resulting in workers bearing the brunt of the costs of post-Cold War downsizing as their employers continued to earn high profits; (2) programs geared toward re-employing displaced workers meet their goals when they dedicate brainpower and financial resources to matching and adapting existing employee skills to identifiable opportunities in local labor markets; (3) transition programs directed at businesses retain jobs when they encourage training-intensive (as opposed to technology-intensive) strategies; and (4) if they are to create jobs, federal investments in emerging technologies require not only the "push" of initial research and development expenditures, but also the large-scale market creation induced by government procurement policies. (Contains 119 references, 16 tables, 3 boxes, and 3 figures.) (KC)
Economic Policy Institute, 1660 L Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20036 ($10). Tel: 800-374-4844 (Toll Free); Tel: 202-775-8810; Fax: 202-775-0819; e-mail:; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Inst., Washington, DC.