chapter  4
22 Pages

Enterprise Benefi ts in Social Income: An Unhealthy Dualism

Throughout history, and in every part of the world, those who have employed workers have considered paying them non-wage benefi ts, as well as or instead of money wages. The reasons vary. They include situations in which the employer lacks money, and as a result gives food or some other non-monetary remuneration. Often, employers have provided food or healthcare in lieu of money wages as a way of boosting productivity, or as a way of strengthening the commitment of the workers to the fi rm. Whatever the reason, such non-wage benefi ts have some value for the workers, since in principle they fi ll a need or reduce the need to save or spend on the goods or services in question. But, with exceptions, the value is likely to be less than the equivalent value in terms of money, simply because, usually inadvertently, they are a means of denying the worker the opportunity to make choices on how to spend his or her earnings.