Journal of Economic Literature
Vol. 35, No. 4, December 1997

Contents

Evaluating Government Training Programs for the Economically Disadvantaged
Daniel Friedlander, David H. Greenberg and Philip K. Robins      1809

Hayek and Socialism
Bruce Caldwell      1856

Enemies or Allies? Henry George and Francis Amasa Walker One Century Later
John K. Whitaker      1891

Contracts, Hold-Up, and Labor Markets
James M. Malcomson      1916

Explaining Agricultural and Agrarian Policies in Developing Countries
Hans P. Binswanger and Klaus Deininger      1958

Simulation-Based Estimation
Steven Stern      2006

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Evaluating Government Training Programs for the Economically Disadvantaged
Daniel Friedlander, David H. Greenberg and Philip K. Robins

This article examines past evaluations of government training programs for the economically disadvantaged and offers an agenda for future research. It is found that government training programs are producing modest increases in earnings for adult men and women, but are probably not producing positive effects for youth. Future research must better document links between program-provided training and acquisition of valuable skills and must explore potential returns from increased scale. The recent adoption of random assignment has improved the accuracy of field evaluations but would benefit from an economic theory of evaluation to guide research into increasing training effectiveness.

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Hayek and Socialism
Bruce Caldwell

Friedrich A. Hayek was a life-long opponent of socialism. Three of his contributions are surveyed and placed within historical context: his debates in the 1930s with the market socialists, his political critique of socialism in The Road to Serfdom, and his evolutionary arguments against "rationalist constructivists." Recent discussions that use the economics of information to analyze the prospects for socialism are also reviewed. It is argued that theorists working in the economics of information have not recognized just how far Hayek's conceptualization of the appropriate theoretical constructs for economics deviates from those of mainstream economists. As such they have misunderstood what may constitute an independent set of arguments against socialism.

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Enemies or Allies? Henry George and Francis Amasa Walker One Century Later
John K. Whitaker

An evaluation and commemoration of two pioneering American economists one century after their deaths in 1897. Biographical sketches are followed by expositions and assessments of their contributions to economics. Areas covered include distribution theory, the explanation of poverty, George's single-tax proposal, the business cycle, and money and statistics. A novel interpretation of George's treatment of rent is provided. Also covered are the parallels and antagonisms between George and Walker, and the uneasy relationship between George and the academic economists of the era. An appendix provides a brief guide to the literature.

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Contracts, Hold-Up, and Labor Markets
James M. Malcomson

The implications for labor markets of contracts to avoid investments without wages increasing with tenure. With turnover costs, fixed but renegotiable wages can protect general investments by both firm and employee, and generate wage stickiness without adversely affecting employment. Employment contracts that induce efficient specific investments by both firm and employee are problematic so it makes sense, wherever possible, for one side to make all such investments. With private information, fixed wages may induce fewer inefficient separations than employment at will.

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Explaining Agricultural and Agrarian Policies in Developing Countries
Hans P. Binswanger and Klaus Deininger

The paper describes and, as far as possible, explains variations in policies, programs, and institutions that influence agricultural growth, agrarian relations, and rural welfare across developing countries and over time. It evaluates the impact of distorted policy patterns on agricultural production and rural poverty and identifies conditions under which policy reforms meant to bring about greater efficiency and equity are likely to be initiated and sustained. It draws upon a broad range of literature to show how material conditions, missing markets, and government policies affect static welfare outcomes, patterns of accumulation, state formation, and the establishment of political institutions. It suggests ways to improve policy advice and proposes directions for future research.

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Simulation-Based Estimation
Steven Stern

In this paper, I present a number of leading examples in the empirical literature that use simulation-based estimation methods. For each example, I describe the model, why simulation is needed, and how to simulate the relevant object. There is a section on simulation methods and another on simulations-based estimation methods. The paper concludes by considering the significance of each of the examples discussed a commenting on potential future areas of interest.

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