The fading scope of labour – remarks about the lost rationale of a common term
AbstractWork and labour describe activities with a redistributional and a reproductive component. In addition, the terms have gained the function of creating social status and self-esteem. This paper argues that the shifts on the labour market during the past decades question both the redistributive and the reproductive functions of labour. An increasing number of activities are taking place both in paid and unpaid settings simultaneously. And the productivity of employed persons, particularly in the growing management sector, is increasingly difficult to judge. Moreover, the strong social esteem of paid work has led to economic misjudgements, inefficient political measures and consequences for our individual well-being. While it would be helpful to speak of paid and unpaid activities instead of labour, it is likely that the term will continue to be used due to its esteem-generating function.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 39401.
Date of creation: 12 Jun 2012
Date of revision:
labor; redistributional/reproductive function; paid work; unpaid work;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Institutional; Evolutionary
- J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
- J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-06-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-HME-2012-06-25 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-LAB-2012-06-25 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 2008. "Nonemployment stigma as rational herding: A field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 30-40, January.
- Veerle Miranda, 2011. "Cooking, Caring and Volunteering: Unpaid Work Around the World," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 116, OECD Publishing.
- Biewen, Martin & Steffes, Susanne, 2010.
"Unemployment persistence: Is there evidence for stigma effects?,"
Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 188-190, March.
- Biewen, Martin & Steffes, Susanne, 2008. "Unemployment Persistence: Is There Evidence for Stigma Effects?," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-057, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Joachim H. Spangenberg, 2002. "The changing contribution of unpaid work to the total standard of living in sustainable development scenarios," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(4), pages 461-475.
- David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
- Stefan Mann, 2008. "From friendly turns towards trade – on the interplay between cooperation and markets," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 326-337, May.
- Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003.
"Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
- Mann, Stefan, 2013. "“Work”? On utility in the market and in the unpaid sphere," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 86-91.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.