Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9781447308935 Published February 2013 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781447308942 Published February 2013 For sale in North and South America only

The Squeezed Middle

The Pressure on Ordinary Workers in America and Britain

Edited by Sophia Parker

The Squeezed Middle

Edited by Sophia Parker

Distributed for Bristol University Press

With a Foreword by Gavin Kelly and Jared Bernstein
169 pages | 19 figures, 8 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9781447308935 Published February 2013 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781447308942 Published February 2013 For sale in North and South America only
The issue of living standards is arguably the biggest challenge facing economists and politicians in the United States and the United Kingdom today. The product of a year-long fellowship at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, The Squeezed Middle brings together leading experts from both sides of the Atlantic to ask what the UK can learn from the US experience of stagnating wages and rising living costs.

American workers have not benefited from growth for an entire generation: adjusting for inflation, the average American worker today earns as much as the average American worker did in 1975. During the last decade British workers have had a similar experience—they can no longer assume that when the economy grows their wages will grow with it. With contributions from a number of leading economic and policy thinkers, this collection analyzes the impact of different policies on those with low to middle incomes and explains what lessons the UK can learn from America’s so-called lost generation. A timely and crucial book, it is essential reading for anyone concerned about the living standards crisis and will have great relevance to policy makers and researchers in the UK, United States, and beyond.

List of tables and figures
Notes on contributors
Foreword by Gavin Kelly and Jared Bernstein
A note on terminology
      Sophia Parker

Section 1: Setting the scene: a rising tide no longer lifts all boats
1.1 A lost decade not a burst bubble: the declining living standards of middle-class households in the US and Britain
      Larry Mishel and Heidi Shierholz
1.2 Rising incomes and modest inequality: the high-employment route
      Lane Kenworthy
Section 2: Policy lessons: creating quality work, raising incomes and building greater economic security
Creating quality work
2.1 Improving job quality in low-paid jobs: care workers in the US
      Eileen Appelbaum and Carrie Leana
2.2 Employment change and economic vulnerability in the US
      Françoise Carré and James Heintz
Raising incomes
2.3 New evidence and new directions for promoting labour market advancement for low and modest earners
      James A. Riccio
2.4 Boosting the pay packets of low- to middle-income families
      Daniel P. Gitterman
Strengthening economic security
2.5 Strategies to expand the affordable private rental stock
      Keith Wardrip
2.6 Insulating middle-income households from economic insecurity: why savings matter, and how we can increase them
      Joanna Smith-Ramani and Preeti Mehta
Section 3: Looking ahead: a cautionary table
3.1 The past to post-recession prosperity
      Tamara Draut
3.2 How US politics is undermining the American Dream, and what it means for the UK
      Jacob S. Hacker
3.3 Conclusion: learning the lessons
      Vidhya Alakeson

Review Quotes
Andrew Gamble, author of The Spectre at the Feast: Capitalist Crisis and the Politics of Recession
“This timely book provides incisive analysis from leading scholars of a key issue of contemporary politics on both sides of the Atlantic. It explores why middle incomes have stagnated and discusses what might be done about it. If you read one political book this year you should read this one.” 
Salvatore Babones | Truthout
“For anyone who wants an all-in-one primer on the economic problems facing the middle class in America today, this is your book. The Squeezed Middle is full of data, but it is no academic tome. It is accessible to anyone who cares enough about deteriorating living standards to want to know how we got into this hole and what we can do to get out of it. . . . Books like The Squeezed Middle won’t solve our economic problems, but they do help give people like you and me the information we need to solve our problems.”
Work, Employment and Society
“Provides a valuable comparative frame of reference. . . . The chapters are linked together with considerable precision and conscious design.”
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