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Various Degrees of Liberty

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Abstract

This chapter defines slavery and other forms of unfree labor with a 20-point scale of freedom. It discusses the evolution of legal, official, and scholarly definitions of slavery, peonage, indentured labor, and other forms of bound and unfree labor, and concludes that the economic effects of slavery are best understood if enslavement is considered on a 20-point scale ranging from zero (chattel slave) to 20 (modern CEO). Wright argues that the less freedom that workers have (the lower their score on the freedom scale), the more negative externalities that they create, and vice versa. The chapter explains why members of relatively well-off groups complain of putative enslavement and suggests that the goal of economic policymakers eager to promote economic growth and economic development should be to help all workers enjoy more workplace and societal freedom.

Keywords

International Labour Organization Female Genital Mutilation Wage Laborer Free Laborer Debt Bondage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Augustana UniversitySioux FallsUSA

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