On many of the basic issues in labour economics there are very marked contrasts between the competing theoretical traditions which were identified in Chapter 1. The neoclassical treatment of the firm’s demand for labour, for example, is quite distinct from the post-Keynesian analysis (Chapter 2). Orthodox assumptions about the meaning of work differ fundamentally from those of green and radical-Marxian economists (Chapter 3). The institutionalist literature on collective action, trade unionism and the social foundations of labour market discrimination is clearly opposed to neoclassical analysis (Chapters 5–6). Post-Keynesian and radical-Marxian theories of relative income shares cannot be reconciled easily — if indeed at all — with marginal productivity theory (Chapter 9). Similar remarks apply to the discussion of wage differentials (Chapter 7) and the sources of economic inequality (Chapter 8). In all these cases, pronounced differences of perspective and emphasis separate the rival schools of thought.


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© J. E. King 1990

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