The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Palgrave Macmillan

Labour Economics

  • R. B. Freeman
Living reference work entry

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Labour economics studies the demand and supply for the most important factor of production, human beings. Since the days of Marshall and indeed of Smith, if not earlier, economists have recognized that one cannot analyse the market for labour, without taking account of such issues as social relations of production, long-term contractual arrangements, problems of effort and motivation, as well as institutions like unions and internal labour markets, which differentiate the labour market from a bourse. For many years recognition of these factors made labour economics an area in which economic theory was applied sparingly and in which institutional analyses dominated.


Labour Market Human Capital Labour Supply Minimum Wage Labour Demand 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Freeman
    • 1
  1. 1.