Whittier Professor Publishes Book on Economic Debates

Greenwood Press has published the second book by Gregory Woirol, the Deihl Professor of Economics at Whittier College. The Technological Unemployment and Structural Unemployment Debates, released in August, is a history of economic thought study of two 20th-century debates among economists.

Woirol, who has been teaching at Whittier since 1976, says his book is directed at two audiences, those interested in the history and methodology of economics and those interested in the impact of technological change on the economy.

"There has been a dramatic growth of interest in the methodology of economics," he said, " with at least eight books on the subject appearing in the last 10 years. These books are studies in prescriptive methodology, and their purpose is to debate the methodological options open to economists and to argue for a particular approach.

"The purpose of my book, a study in descriptive methodology, is to discover what economists actually do in order to understand better what works and does not work in the development of economic ideas."

The impact of technological change on the economy is a topic of great interest to economists as well as the general public, he said. "The history of debates among economists in the 20th century about the employment effects of technological changes has not been told in detail before, and provides valuable insight into the evolution of our understand of a fundamental issue in market economies."

Woirol also is the author of In the Floating Army: F.C. Mills on Itinerant Life in California, 1914, published by the University of Illinois Press in 1992.

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Orange County.

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