The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Labour Markets

  • R. Tarling
Reference work entry


The view taken of labour in the economic system is fundamental to economic theory. Classical writings accepted that the conceptualization of labour was a major issue in constructing theory and developed ideas in an area of the economics discipline which is now ‘political economy’. But labour in these early writings was regarded largely in terms of the individual, who by his very existence was part of a social, institutional and political system. How then could economics ever come to be seen to be remote from, or at least distinct from, sociology and political science?

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Tarling
    • 1
  1. 1.