Preparing the ground for a viable account of labour markets

Fleetwood, Steve (2003) Preparing the ground for a viable account of labour markets. Working Paper. The Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University.

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There are, basically, two accounts of labour markets: the mainstream labour market (MLM) account and the Heterodox account(s) which recognises that labour markets are embedded in social structures. Whilst bringing social structures into the account(s) is a strength, it reveals meta-theoretical weaknesses. A critical realist meta-theoretical critique not only undermines the MLM account, it also clears the way for Heterodoxy to deal more robustly with social structures and to reject the notion of functional relations between wage rates, supply and demand for labour. What are usually referred to as 'labour markets', then, disappear. There are no phenomena called 'labour markets' that are subsequently embedded in other phenomena called social structures: labour markets become synonymous with the social structures that constitute them. Critical realism also provides the meta-theoretical apparatus necessary to deal robustly with social structures.

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11 Jul 2011 21:05
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 15:09