chapter  4
91 Pages

The Price of Labor

ByNico Stehr, Dustin Voss

This chapter examines how the price of labor is computed in classical economic discourse and how modern economic theories differ from their classical predecessors. It distinguishes between material and moral elements of remuneration, analyzes the theory and legitimacy of minimum wages, the idea of just wages and considers empirical evidence that has accumulated about the price of labor. The most widely researched and discussed attributes involve quantitative empirical information about wages and income of employees plus fringe benefits actually paid, and, to trends in real wages for example. The growth of knowledge workers has more to do with the substantial extension in the working life span of individuals and the enhanced knowledge with which individuals come to the labor market in the first place. The role of labor “from time immemorial” has been the principle factor in the production process. However, “there are reasons to believe human labor will not retain this status in the future”.