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Seeking a Premier EconomyThe Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000$
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David Card, Richard Blundell, and Richard B. Freeman

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226092843

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226092904.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Seeking a Premier Economy
David Card, Richard Blundell, Richard B. Freeman
University of Chicago Press

This book presents a set of studies that assesses some of the economic reforms that the United Kingdom adopted in the 1980s and 1990s. It focuses on a selection of reforms for investigation—in particular, those dealing with labor and product markets that are likely to have had an impact on productivity, employment, and income inequality. First, it shows that the reforms accomplished their main policy goal of making the UK economy and, in particular, the labor market more market-friendly. In the area of product-market reforms, the book reveals that the privatization of traditionally nationalized industries was a major part of the reforms. Also, with its freedom to move capital and extensive stock market, the United Kingdom has a particularly open capital market, which makes it easy for foreign firms to enter. Finally, the United Kingdom sought to increase share ownership by workers in their own firms with the hope of improving the commitment of workers to the firm and raising productivity through employee ownership.

Keywords:   economic reforms, United Kingdom, income inequality, labor market, privatization, employee ownership, productivity, employment, capital market

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