New Books Network

One of the most enduring ideas in economics is that unemployment is both unavoidable and necessary for the smooth functioning of the economy. This...

One of the most enduring ideas in economics is that unemployment is both unavoidable and necessary for the smooth functioning of the economy. This assumption has provided cover for the devastating social and economic costs of job insecurity. It is also false.

In this The Case for a Job Guarantee (Polity, 2020), Pavlina R. Tcherneva challenges us to imagine a world where the phantom of unemployment is banished and anyone who seeks decent, living-wage work can find it – guaranteed.

This is the aim of the Job Guarantee proposal: to provide a voluntary employment opportunity in public service to anyone who needs it. Tcherneva enumerates the many advantages of the Job Guarantee over the status quo and proposes a blueprint for its implementation within the wider context of the need for a Green New Deal.

Pavlina Tcherneva is Associate Professor at Bard College and Research Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute.


Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A People’s History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017).