The Employment Problem — a Conceptual Discussion

  • Frances Stewart


Employment, or rather its inadequacy, is a problem of major concern in most discussion of third world issues.1 Advanced technology from developed countries is viewed with suspicion largely because of its failure to provide sufficient jobs. Yet there is little agreement about how the employment problem should be defined, or measured. While there is consensus that there is a major, possibly overriding problem, of an unspecified nature, when it comes to specification — and to an even greater extent proposed cures — concepts overlap, conflict and confuse. Analysis of the employment question is peculiarly dependent on analysis of technology questions, since technologies are largely categorised in terms of their employment effects. This chapter discusses some of the conceptual differences in approaches towards employment, and considers briefly how the different approaches give rise to alternative approaches towards technology.


Labour Force Informal Sector Marginal Product Factor Price Full Employment 
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© Frances Stewart 1977

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  • Frances Stewart

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