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By one reading, things look pretty good for Americans today: the country is richer than ever before and the unemployment rate is down by half since the Great Recession—lower today, in fact, than for most of the postwar era.  But a closer look shows that something is going seriously wrong. This is the collapse of work—most especially among America’s men. Nicholas Eberstadt, By one reading, things look pretty good for Americans today: the country is richer than ever before and the unemployment rate is down by half since the Great Recession—lower today, in fact, than for most of the postwar era.  But a closer look shows that something is going seriously wrong. This is the collapse of work—most especially among America’s men. Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist who holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute, shows that while “unemployment” has gone down, America’s work rate is also lower today than a generation ago—and that the work rate for US men has been spiraling downward for half a century. Astonishingly, the work rate for American males aged twenty-five to fifty-four—or “men of prime working age”—was actually slightly lower in 2015 than it had been in 1940: before the War, and at the tail end of the Great Depression. Today, nearly one in six prime working age men has no paid work at all—and nearly one in eight is out of the labor force entirely, neither working nor even looking for work. This new normal of “men without work,” argues Eberstadt, is “America’s invisible crisis.” So who are these men? How did they get there? What are they doing with their time? And what are the implications of this exit from work for American society? Nicholas Eberstadt lays out the issue and Jared Bernstein from the left and Henry Olsen from the right offer their responses to this national crisis. For more information, please visit http://menwithoutwork.com.


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By one reading, things look pretty good for Americans today: the country is richer than ever before and the unemployment rate is down by half since the Great Recession—lower today, in fact, than for most of the postwar era.  But a closer look shows that something is going seriously wrong. This is the collapse of work—most especially among America’s men. Nicholas Eberstadt, By one reading, things look pretty good for Americans today: the country is richer than ever before and the unemployment rate is down by half since the Great Recession—lower today, in fact, than for most of the postwar era.  But a closer look shows that something is going seriously wrong. This is the collapse of work—most especially among America’s men. Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist who holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute, shows that while “unemployment” has gone down, America’s work rate is also lower today than a generation ago—and that the work rate for US men has been spiraling downward for half a century. Astonishingly, the work rate for American males aged twenty-five to fifty-four—or “men of prime working age”—was actually slightly lower in 2015 than it had been in 1940: before the War, and at the tail end of the Great Depression. Today, nearly one in six prime working age men has no paid work at all—and nearly one in eight is out of the labor force entirely, neither working nor even looking for work. This new normal of “men without work,” argues Eberstadt, is “America’s invisible crisis.” So who are these men? How did they get there? What are they doing with their time? And what are the implications of this exit from work for American society? Nicholas Eberstadt lays out the issue and Jared Bernstein from the left and Henry Olsen from the right offer their responses to this national crisis. For more information, please visit http://menwithoutwork.com.

30 review for Men Without Work: America's Invisible Crisis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pete

    Men Without Work:America's Invisible Crisis (2016) by Nicholas Eberstadt looks at the dramatic decline in the US male labour force participation rate over the past 50 years. Nearly one in six men had no paid work at all and one in eight was completely out of the labour force. The US generally has lots of people who work lots of hours, but in terms of the male participation rate the US is dramatically lower than other countries. The book goes through how the rate has steadily decline and Eberstadt Men Without Work:America's Invisible Crisis (2016) by Nicholas Eberstadt looks at the dramatic decline in the US male labour force participation rate over the past 50 years. Nearly one in six men had no paid work at all and one in eight was completely out of the labour force. The US generally has lots of people who work lots of hours, but in terms of the male participation rate the US is dramatically lower than other countries. The book goes through how the rate has steadily decline and Eberstadt looks at why those men might be out of the labour force. Interestingly, men who have children are much more likely to be in the labour force than those who don't, but it's hard to say which way this relationship goes. Eberstadt discusses the idea that ex-convicts, of which the US has dramatically more than any other developed country are one of the major drivers of this problem. It seems likely that they are. The book presents a lot of statistics and also has some people who disagree with some Eberstadt's views who also put forward their ideas about the issue. The book is an interesting read about a surprising and alarming aspect of the US.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bernie

    In "Men Without Work", Nicholas Eberstadt roundly documents the ever increasing number of men who have elected to disengage from the American workforce. In this regard he has made "America's Invisible Crisis" less invisible. This is an important starting point and it being his primary aim in this thin volume, he is successful. Beyond documenting the problem, Eberstadt makes a number of plausible hypotheses as to why labor force participation has plummeted among American men but with less clear d In "Men Without Work", Nicholas Eberstadt roundly documents the ever increasing number of men who have elected to disengage from the American workforce. In this regard he has made "America's Invisible Crisis" less invisible. This is an important starting point and it being his primary aim in this thin volume, he is successful. Beyond documenting the problem, Eberstadt makes a number of plausible hypotheses as to why labor force participation has plummeted among American men but with less clear documentation. His prescriptions for dealing with the problem is even less fleshed out. This should not, however, be viewed as a failing, but rather an invitation for others to investigate and debate. In fact, Ebersadt kicks off the debate with the publication of two dissenting points of view and a response corresponding to the last three chapters of the book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Interesting book that lays out the enormity of the issue of men of prime working age in the United States who are not part of the workforce, and are largely disconnected from society at large. I think the author grossly over states the issue of the social safety net, as it's much smaller and parsimonious here in the US than in many other advanced Western democracies, and yet the Labor Force Participation Rates here are lower than every other nation but Italy. I think the other contributors corre Interesting book that lays out the enormity of the issue of men of prime working age in the United States who are not part of the workforce, and are largely disconnected from society at large. I think the author grossly over states the issue of the social safety net, as it's much smaller and parsimonious here in the US than in many other advanced Western democracies, and yet the Labor Force Participation Rates here are lower than every other nation but Italy. I think the other contributors correctly call out the issues of Deindustrialization and Mass Incarceration.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fraser Kinnear

    More than anything, I really enjoyed the scope of this book: 185 (small) pages, rich with charts. Only enough background to explain the data you're looking at and theorize over what it means. $5 at my local bookstore. Perhaps best of all, there are two short essays providing dissenting points of view to this book, penned by the author's colleagues. The author provides a short and civil rebuttal. I really really wish more business or economics books were written like this. Most of this book is dev More than anything, I really enjoyed the scope of this book: 185 (small) pages, rich with charts. Only enough background to explain the data you're looking at and theorize over what it means. $5 at my local bookstore. Perhaps best of all, there are two short essays providing dissenting points of view to this book, penned by the author's colleagues. The author provides a short and civil rebuttal. I really really wish more business or economics books were written like this. Most of this book is devoted to proving the case that labor force participation for working-age men has dropped steadily since the mid-1960's, amounting to roughly 10 million men today who are not actively looking for work, or, put another way, if 1965 labor force participation rates would hold today, the population of working-age men who are earning a paycheck would be ~10% higher than what we actually see. Loads of great context: - The increase in population of men not looking for work has outstripped men's natural population growth - It's not because they're going to higher education - Most of these men are not just out of the labor force for a short term, but for years - Married men, foreign-born men, and men with advanced degrees are far less likely to fall into this cohort - These men who choose not to work are not spending time doing valuavle unapid work, like volunteering or domestically supporting their families. They spend most of their time at leisure activities. There's some striking tables measuring the disparity in leisure time they have relative to working men and women - This problem does not exist in any other developed country, or is far less pronounced (including in the PIIGS countries, who perhaps bear this reputation) - These numbers are not reflected in the unemployment rates, because they exclude people not looking for work - This drop in male workforce participation has more than been made up for by women So what are the causes? What can we do about it? Probably the traditional conservative response is to criticize our social safety net. And while Eberstat does spend a lot of time discussing it's impact, he clearly isn't convinced in that opinion. Instead of going so far at to day this decline has been caused by our growing social safety net, Eberstadt constrains himself to simply point out that disability programs and the like at least clearly financing a lot of this population (with relatives of the non-working men financing the remainder). Actually, the most interesting evidence Eberstadt brings to bear is the theory that our more aggressive prosecution and punishment policies, which started in the 1980's, has resulted in a swelling population of current and ex-felons (estimated to be ~16 million as of 2004) who have a very hard time finding work, and is a key driver to the continued rate decline. Seeing that the decline in labor force participation started in the 1960's, and the explosion of felony records didn't really kick off until 20 years later, this phenomenon doesn't explain everything, but if this book makes anything clear, it's that there's no single cause for why we are where we are today. The dissenting opinions, emphasized that the Eberstadt's "supply-side" arguments (that rates are dropping because men are not looking for work, instead of there not being work available for them) ignore many of the "demand-side" arguments that clearly play a role. Outsourcing low-skilled work to other countries, not having a military draft to drill organizational skills into millions of men, automation, etc. One compelling point made was that labor force participation rates dropped most dramatically during a recession, and never recovered to pre-recession peaks after the recession, suggesting that people lost their jobs in recessions and just kept out of the workforce after that. A decidedly limited-scope book, but definitely worth the weekend read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Evan Micheals

    I heard Nicholas Emerstadt talk on the Art of Manliness in late 2017 (episode 365) about the effects of lack of work on Men. This was an interesting talk and hinted at areas on interest around Men’s Mental Health for me. If only he was as well written as he is well spoken. This is a statistic heavy book aimed at policy wonks. It would have been a better book if he had included examples and anecdotes of what he was writing about. It is a mercifully short book at 112 pages, but they are dense and I heard Nicholas Emerstadt talk on the Art of Manliness in late 2017 (episode 365) about the effects of lack of work on Men. This was an interesting talk and hinted at areas on interest around Men’s Mental Health for me. If only he was as well written as he is well spoken. This is a statistic heavy book aimed at policy wonks. It would have been a better book if he had included examples and anecdotes of what he was writing about. It is a mercifully short book at 112 pages, but they are dense and hard to follow. It is acronym heavy talking about NILFs (Not in the Labour Force), SIPP (Survey for Income and Program Participation), SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), LFPRs (Labour Force Participation Rates) amongst many others. This made is hard to follow. The keen reader would require a list of acronyms to get the most out of the book. I was not that keen. What I got from this book is that men of prime working age are declining to participate in the workforce in declining and alarming rates. They prefer to watch TV or do other activities which do not contribute to their communities. Community participation rates (volunteering) were higher in people looking for work or engaged in full-time employment. The impression was that without work or the hope of it, men give up and decline to contribute to their communities, families (measure by hours spent caring for a family member), to themselves (engage in ongoing education) in any meaningful way. Without work men waste away with the associated rise in psychological and physical disabilities. Emerstadt did published a number of critiques of his work, which earned an extra start from me. I found this book disappointing as it had the potential to say something important about men. Emerstadt does not offer any solutions or suggestions on how to improve the situation of these men. He falls short. A wonk that can write well can take his work and say something important about the state of the contemporary state of the Western Man. Emerstadt just needed to speak to some of the men he was describing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matt Hooper

    "The growing incapability of grown men to function as breadwinners cannot help but undermine the American family. It casts those who nature designed to be strong into the role of dependents — on their wives or girlfriends, on their aging parents, or on government welfare." — page 5, Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis. Could there be a more establishment Republican sentence than that? Partisanship aside, there’s a serious problem within the American labor force — one that has gotten stea "The growing incapability of grown men to function as breadwinners cannot help but undermine the American family. It casts those who nature designed to be strong into the role of dependents — on their wives or girlfriends, on their aging parents, or on government welfare." — page 5, Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis. Could there be a more establishment Republican sentence than that? Partisanship aside, there’s a serious problem within the American labor force — one that has gotten steadily worse over the past 50 years and has accelerated even further over the past several years. Men who are within their prime working years are not only unemployed, they are completely disengaged from the job market. They are not looking for work and they are not contributing in a significant way to society. Nicholas Eberstadt examines this problem in his 2016 book “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis.” Eberstadt is a political economist and, as you can imagine from that opening quote, a very conservative one. To his credit, however, he concludes this book with two critical essays by political economists from the middle and from the left of the political spectrum. All three experts concur: we have a serious, vexing problem on our hands. Opinions diverge on the cause. Let’s get a sense of the problem from statistics collected by Eberstadt and his research team. Currently, there are roughly 10 million American men who could be and (presumably) should be working, but are not. This worker deficit translates to about 22 percent of men between the ages of 20 and 65 — and, remember, these are not unemployed men who are looking for work … rather these are unemployed men who are not searching for jobs at all. This isn’t a sudden, new phenomenon. This population of “unworking” men has been growing more or less steadily for the past 50 some-odd years. In the 1960s, about one in every 16 sixteen prime-age American men were completely outside the workforce. Today? One in every six men fit this description. Currently, for every unemployed man who’s looking for a job, there are three more men who are completely off the grid. Rural and southern states are bearing the brunt of this problem; the seven worst states for “unworking” are West Virginia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama. Globally, this rate of decline is much deeper in the U.S. as compared to other major world economies (however, those countries are also seeing more and more men entering this “unworking” category). So, what do these unworking men do with their time? Not much. The American Time Use Survey shows that these men spend significantly more time sleeping, socializing and TV-watching than both men who are unemployed-but-searching and employed people of any sex. As a group, these unworkers tend not to devote their abundant of free time to educational pursuits, caretaking or volunteerism. Tragically, perhaps unsurprisingly, more than 30 percent of these men have reported taking illegal drugs — as opposed to 8 percent of employed men. One imagines the modern scourges of meth and opioid abuse have and will push these numbers even higher. So, what’s behind this? Eberstadt, perhaps naturally as a conservative, points to the welfare state, calling out by name Lyndon Baines Johnson and his Great Society. Eberstadt cites evidence on the abuse of unemployment insurance (which does appear to be abused more than most social programs). He cites the percentage growth of people relying upon food stamps, Medicaid and other programs within the overall social safety net. Amusingly, Eberstadt claims that the poor and out-of-work benefit more from government largesse than anyone else — ignoring the fact that tax breaks and mortgage interest deductions are substantially greater government handouts disproportionately benefiting the richest Americans. But I digress. Beyond welfare, Eberstadt spends considerable time — admirably so — discussing the impact of our burgeoning population of men with arrest records, especially felony arrest records. America’s criminal justice system, in and of itself, is a serious problem and one that bears the stain of racism. For example, in 1979 about 15 percent of black men age 30 to 34 without a high school degree had an arrest record. By 2009, that number had exploded to an unfathomable 68 percent! (Note that a high school degree drops that percentage to 21 percent, and a college degree cuts it to 6.6 percent.) Overall, about 20 million men are current or former felons. And you don’t have to be an economist or sociologist to know that many felons struggle mightily to find steady employment. How does Eberstadt suggest we fix this problem? By revitalizing American businesses, of course, as any old-school conservative would. And by reducing the incentive to lie down in the social safety net. And through criminal justice reform. But if you blink you’ll miss his solutions — Eberstadt devotes 150 some-odd pages to defining the problem, but just seven pages to solutions. Enter Henry Olson (a center-right think-tanker) and Jason Bernstein (a liberal economist). Eberstadt includes their critiques of his theories at the end of this book — a very admirable move, if you ask me. Both Henry and Jason are in full agreement with Nicholas that unworking men are a very serious problem for the United States economically and sociologically. Olson, however, makes an brilliant point that Eberstadt’s numbers do nothing to record or access why these men are claiming “unworking” as their status. Indeed, the government agencies asking men about their work status are not asking the question of how or why they claim this status. Without that information, every statistic lobbed up as a cause — welfare, prison, racism — can be waved off as correlation-is-not-causation. Importantly, Olson and Bernstein address a topic that, shockingly, Bernstein barely mentions: the de-industrialization of America. One clear difference between the United States then (mid-1960s) and now (mid-2010s) is that factory jobs and other jobs that do not require advanced degrees or technical expertise used to be more abundant. Not to mention, they used to pay a living wage. This puts a dent in the hypothesis that laziness is a primary motivator pushing men to leave the workforce altogether. To quote Bernstein’s critique, the data “suggests less [men’s] flight from work and more work’s flight from them.” Finally, Bernstein takes a harder look at the correlation between the American welfare state and rates of male unemployment and finds that the data does not match as well as Eberstadt suggests. This makes logical sense on a global scale, as male unemployment is much greater a problem in the United States as compared to western European nations, Canada and Japan (which have more robust safety nets). In short — the more men and women at work in the United States, the lower our rates of poverty and the better our economic outlook. That millions of able-bodied, prime-of-life men are not working, choosing not to work, unable to find work, too drug-addled to work, too depressed to work, or too outclassed to work is, indeed, an enormous problem that will lead to both immediate and long-term economic and social decline. Fixing this problem requires a bi-partisan approach — not unlike the approach that Eberstadt, Olson and Bernstein have demonstrated.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jbussen

    SHORT ; I liked that the author gives proof of his data. No conclusions in this book. I think this was written for an economist or his peeps in colleges, think tanks etc. and not for general consumption. If it was intended for a general audience then this editor needs to check themselves. What a dry read. Men w/o work doesn't have my reason for not working (actually I have a job, in construction so this generally doesn't apply to me, hence why I am still working.) PC BS! I am tired of working wi SHORT ; I liked that the author gives proof of his data. No conclusions in this book. I think this was written for an economist or his peeps in colleges, think tanks etc. and not for general consumption. If it was intended for a general audience then this editor needs to check themselves. What a dry read. Men w/o work doesn't have my reason for not working (actually I have a job, in construction so this generally doesn't apply to me, hence why I am still working.) PC BS! I am tired of working with women especially. Think: Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters Paperback – December 9, 2014 by Helen Smith PhD (Author)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Phil Howard

    It is kind of an anti-welfare screed. I had a hard time following some of the statistics, and the tables needed a magnifying glass to identify who the different lines represented because the color coding differences were largely ineffective given the size. The overall conclusions -- that American welfare programs and incarceration practices and rates have created an army of men without work though -- are effectively argued. Whether poverty would be less and labor participation and employment more It is kind of an anti-welfare screed. I had a hard time following some of the statistics, and the tables needed a magnifying glass to identify who the different lines represented because the color coding differences were largely ineffective given the size. The overall conclusions -- that American welfare programs and incarceration practices and rates have created an army of men without work though -- are effectively argued. Whether poverty would be less and labor participation and employment more if the welfare programs were better targeted, and how the problems with the American phenomenon of mass incarceration can be handled are matters for debate and discussion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    A bit heavy-handed in its tone and approach, Men Without Work nonetheless conveys the exigency of the seven million middle age males who opt out of the labor force. Work nourishes and provides structure to a life in addition to a livelihood, and the author depicts the importance of work well throughout the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    Not a bad book, but not what I was expecting. I was expecting a focus on conclusions and maybe solutions, but this book is mostly data about the problem, lots and lots of data. A quick read, but shallow in many respects.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Lawson

    The points in this little book are so alarming, that I re-read the book to better understand them. (I have also raised my review to 5-Stars.) On my first read, I did not fully comprehend an astonishing point the author makes (p.180): "...For every prime-age man who is out of a job and looking for one there are three others who are neither working or looking for work." What--this can't be! At first, I thought I had misunderstood the author--but I had not. Even after adjusting for men taking traini The points in this little book are so alarming, that I re-read the book to better understand them. (I have also raised my review to 5-Stars.) On my first read, I did not fully comprehend an astonishing point the author makes (p.180): "...For every prime-age man who is out of a job and looking for one there are three others who are neither working or looking for work." What--this can't be! At first, I thought I had misunderstood the author--but I had not. Even after adjusting for men taking training, there are 2.5 men not looking for work for every one who is. The author points out the astonishing change in work demographics as a "revolutionary change in male attitudes toward work and dependence in postwar America." I happened to see this little tome at my local library. I found MEN WITHOUT WORK to be a well-written book, which calls attention to an alarming problem in America. The author's charts are very helpful, although the acronyms were a little consuing for me at times. I especially liked the latter part of the book, where two different perspectives are offered--one from a conservative, and one from a progressive. **REASONS TO READ THIS BOOK** + Well-written & well-argued + The author writes in an even-handed, charitable way. + Helpful charts illustrate the key points + Inclusion of differing views at end **REASONS TO SKIP THIS BOOK** - Just a small amount of time given to the critique from Bernstein. - I would have liked to see a more robust discussion of the points mentioned in the "opposing view" sections. So all in all, I found MEN WITHOUT WORK to be a solid introduction to this topic. It's not an exhaustive work, but lays out the main points well. Prior to reading this book, I had no idea of the amazing change in work demographics. See also my review on bassoantor.com/blog/work

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This is a quick and very interesting read--documenting the decline in men's prime-age labor force participation. I was quite mixed on the book--I thought it was too dismissive of demand-side arguments, and arguing from a biased point of view (especially around the efficacy of social programs) in parts--until I got to the second part. This section has something I've never seen before, and which I thought was incredibly redeeming--the author invites two people with opposing viewpoints to write a ch This is a quick and very interesting read--documenting the decline in men's prime-age labor force participation. I was quite mixed on the book--I thought it was too dismissive of demand-side arguments, and arguing from a biased point of view (especially around the efficacy of social programs) in parts--until I got to the second part. This section has something I've never seen before, and which I thought was incredibly redeeming--the author invites two people with opposing viewpoints to write a chapter characterizing how they interpret the same evidence. In several instances, one of these responses highlights the issues I had with the first part of the book, which I think (not because they're my points!) ultimately makes the book a much more compelling read...that the author is trying to engage meaningfully around an important issue rather than to advocate for his viewpoint. Two points not raised in the counter-arguments that I'd quibble with: --the rise in women's labor force participation could be a cause of the decline in men's...that the labor market is becoming more competitive, at the expense of low-skilled employees --the author struggles to reconcile the US's longer working week and lower labor force participation, whereas this makes complete sense to me...that the bar for entering the labor force is higher here, and therefore not worth it for more people Overall, a great read both on the merits (although I do agree more so with the responses than the author) and also because of this approach to inviting counterarguments. I hope to see more authors do this.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bill Pritchard

    This book was an eye opener. The number of working age men who are not looking for work. The work rate for American men aged 25-54 - is actually slightly lower now (as of 2015) than it was in 1940. Nearly 1 in 6 prime working age men has no paid work - nearly 1 in 8 is out of the work force entirely - neither working or even looking for work. Mr. Eberstadt spends the majority of this brief work outlining the numbers and the data. He highlights as the reasons why - demand factors, supply factors This book was an eye opener. The number of working age men who are not looking for work. The work rate for American men aged 25-54 - is actually slightly lower now (as of 2015) than it was in 1940. Nearly 1 in 6 prime working age men has no paid work - nearly 1 in 8 is out of the work force entirely - neither working or even looking for work. Mr. Eberstadt spends the majority of this brief work outlining the numbers and the data. He highlights as the reasons why - demand factors, supply factors and institutional factors. He does not quibble about which of these is more dire - instead, it is the relative importance of these factors that is paramount. He points to the issues involving our disability programs. He makes a compelling argument that hte large and growing population of male ex-prisoners is a significant and generally unappreciated component of today's men-without-work problem. It makes for a depressing read. I did enjoy the last chapters most, where he had two dissenters take issue with his approach, data, or conclusions... and then closes with his response. Respectful dissent followed by respectful argument and/or clarification. Recommended for those who wish to delve deeper into this boiling hot-button issue - or for those who enjoy a bit of economic analysis and interpretation (guilty). Recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Written as a wake-up call to address the issue of a growing number of American men between 25 and 54 who are not working or looking for work. The number in the US is greater than in other industrialized countries and has been growing steadily since WWII. He brings out toward the end that there is a relationship in the US between the number of men outside the work force and the exceptionally large numbers of men who have been imprisoned since the 1980s, given the difficulties of felons in obtaini Written as a wake-up call to address the issue of a growing number of American men between 25 and 54 who are not working or looking for work. The number in the US is greater than in other industrialized countries and has been growing steadily since WWII. He brings out toward the end that there is a relationship in the US between the number of men outside the work force and the exceptionally large numbers of men who have been imprisoned since the 1980s, given the difficulties of felons in obtaining work, especially as most of these felons are poorly educated and impoverished. He also points to disability payments and other monetary social programs as enabling this behavior. It is a very short book, a bit dry but full of charts and graphs that illustrate the economic data. It also includes the comments of two other policy analysts and his response to their critiques.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    Men Without Work documents the problem of the discouraged male worker not measured in unemployment numbers. While the problem has been long lamented by economists, it remains largely misunderstood or invisible as the title suggests. While highlighting the problem, it is not forgiving of the male discouraged worker himself (who statistically spends more time watching tv and claims a disproportionate amount of income from claiming disability or from cohabiting women). While long on jargon and shor Men Without Work documents the problem of the discouraged male worker not measured in unemployment numbers. While the problem has been long lamented by economists, it remains largely misunderstood or invisible as the title suggests. While highlighting the problem, it is not forgiving of the male discouraged worker himself (who statistically spends more time watching tv and claims a disproportionate amount of income from claiming disability or from cohabiting women). While long on jargon and short on policy, this is not book to be neglected, despite some of the heavier acronym laden chapters. Having listened to this in audio format, I’d recommend reading the text to fully appreciate a full command of the sheer breadth of this problem (and even some of the glaring gaps in measuring this).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike Kanner

    First, and this is partly to address other readers, this is not an easy read and a background in quantitative social science is a definite plus. Eberstadt does not take a simple view of the issue of why we are seeing lower male participation in the labor force. After laying out the issue at the first level, he controls for factors such as race, criminal record, immigration status and education. As a result, he gives you a detailed look at the full extent of the problem, its impact and why it may First, and this is partly to address other readers, this is not an easy read and a background in quantitative social science is a definite plus. Eberstadt does not take a simple view of the issue of why we are seeing lower male participation in the labor force. After laying out the issue at the first level, he controls for factors such as race, criminal record, immigration status and education. As a result, he gives you a detailed look at the full extent of the problem, its impact and why it may be so difficult to address. Like others I would have liked to have seen more recommendations, however, the focus is on description and not prescription. Given that, it is a worthy read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Not a lot of interesting insight into the "Men Not Participating in Workforce" crisis. And the second half is copy and pasting articles critical of the author to fill up the pages... Long story short, increased woman's work force participation and work in the US requires higher levels of education is leaving less educated men behind. Disability insurance is able support their daily expenses. What do these men do all day not working then? Watch TV and not helping themselves, their families or soc Not a lot of interesting insight into the "Men Not Participating in Workforce" crisis. And the second half is copy and pasting articles critical of the author to fill up the pages... Long story short, increased woman's work force participation and work in the US requires higher levels of education is leaving less educated men behind. Disability insurance is able support their daily expenses. What do these men do all day not working then? Watch TV and not helping themselves, their families or society at large.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Daniel

    This is a great book that I recommend that other people read. The one issue I have with it is that there was not enough data on those who were unemployed. While this is not the writers fault, we need more people researching this. I look forward to seeing more books written on this subject. I wonder how much of this has to do with acedia.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Hill

    It started out good but then got a bit dense. I did like that he eventually got around to what to do about it though.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Summers

    This book discusses a very important issue that needs more attention. I am looking forward to reading more about this topic from Eberstadt and other authors.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Todd Wood

    Short but compelling book highlighting (yet) another looming yet little followed problem for the US economy. While light on solutions, it's a good starting point for future discussion I'd say.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    Lots of numbers but little analysis or ideas for solving a very real problem of a large segment of the population who has simply dropped out of the work force. I am convinced this is a problem but I don't think this book is much of an analysis of why we have the problem or what to do with it. On the plus side, it's short.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Shumate

    This is an excellent read. Very good synthesis of research and punditry. I appreciate that Eberstadt gives a chapter each to a critic from the right and left. This is a much needed compliment to related works (e.g. Coming Apart).

  24. 5 out of 5

    David

    Mention the drop in the unemployment rate to any of President Obama's many detractors and they will immediately point to the large number of people who have left the workforce. This book slices and dices a variety of data to examine the departure of prime working age (25-54) men from the workforce, a trend that started in the mid-1960s and has increased steadily over the past 50 years. We now have an estimated nine million prime-aged men who have left the workforce and are not looking for work. Mention the drop in the unemployment rate to any of President Obama's many detractors and they will immediately point to the large number of people who have left the workforce. This book slices and dices a variety of data to examine the departure of prime working age (25-54) men from the workforce, a trend that started in the mid-1960s and has increased steadily over the past 50 years. We now have an estimated nine million prime-aged men who have left the workforce and are not looking for work. While education (returning to school or staying in school) explains a fraction of the number, the vast majority appear to be former or current felons who have given up on work. This seems to dovetail with the crack down on crime that began in the mid-1960s. Their means of support include working women, social security disability, food stamps, informal work, and state support programs.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    A very academic monograph; heavy with statistics and charts...making it somewhat difficult to read on my Kindle. The title is an exact description of the content. The author includes two critiques of his analysis. No solutions are proposed, other than as a society we need to recognize this "invisible crisis" and begin to develop plans to overcome what has the potential to become a significant percentage of our prime-age male population.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cameron Miller

    Great book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tom Doonan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gabor Melli

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul Hanrahan

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