The William G. Bowen Book Award

Louis Hyman awarded the 2018 William G. Bowen Book Award

Louis Hyman's Temp traces the history of the "gig economy" back to creation of the Manpower temp agency in the 1940s, whose founders framed temporary work as an opportunity for women to earn extra spending money with flexible scheduling. The book chronicles the use of temporary labor across different industries and geographic regions, including the Silicon Valley tech industry, which Hyman contends has always relied heavily on subcontractors employing temporary workers, starting with semiconductor manufacturing in the 1960s. The book is written for a general audience, though Hyman brings his perspective as an academic historian with a research focus on the relationship between American capitalism and society. The author started his career as a McKinsey consultant, and he argues that management consultants' relentless focus on the lean, agile workforce contributed to the nation's increasing dependence on temporary labor. 

Hyman, Louis. Temp: how American work, American business, and the American dream became temporary. New York, NY: Viking Press, 2018. 400 p. HD5854.2.U6 H96 2018. Cloth $28.00. ISBN: 978-0-7352-2407-0

William G. Bowen

William G. Bowen's ties with Princeton and the Industrial Relations Section began in 1955, when he enrolled as a graduate student in economics.  Bowen joined the faculty at Princeton in 1958, upon completion of his Ph.D.  After a decade of teaching and advising, in 1967 Bowen became the second Provost of Princeton University.  He remained Provost until his appointment as the 17th President of Princeton University in 1972, a position he held for 16 years, when he was appointed President of the Mellon Foundation.

William Bowen has spent a life as a scholar and academic administrator, with remarkable achievements in both areas, often at the same time.  His scholarship, which ranges over a wide variety of subjects, is always empirically informed, solidly grounded in common sense, and directly aimed at issues of extraordinary importance for public policy.

In recognition of William Bowen's contribution to the fields of Labor Economics, Industrial Relations, and Human Resources and his long association with the Industrial Relations Section, the Section has established an annual award in his name. This award is presented to the book making the most important contribution toward understanding public policy related to industrial relations and the operation of labor markets.

Nominations from authors or publishers are not solicited nor accepted; this is an independent selection process.