IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Technological Effects on Wages and Labour: Classical and Neoclassical Ideas

  • Anastassios D. Karayiannis
  • Ioannis A. Katselidis

The introduction of new technology may have significant effects on the level of employment and the real wage rate; effects that have received considerable attention even from the economic thinkers of the classical period. This paper aims to analyze and evaluate the various views and arguments of early classical and neoclassical economists concerning the technological effects on wages and employment. On the one hand, the economists of the early decades of the 19th century (mainly between 1800 and 1840) had recognized and analyzed many of the effects of technology on labourers’ welfare. On the other hand, early neoclassical theorists of the period between 1890 and 1935 tried to expand on the classical views and to develop their own theoretical arguments, based on new perceptions like the marginal productivity theory. The main conclusion drawn is that most of early classical and neoclassical economists recognized and specified the temporary adverse effects of new technology on labour (e.g. short-run unemployment), but, at the same time, they argued for the beneficial long-run consequences of technological progress on labourers’ welfare.

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Single articles can be downloaded buying download credits, for info:

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by FrancoAngeli Editore in its journal HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY.

Volume (Year): html10.3280/spe2012-001007 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 97-124

in new window

Handle: RePEc:fan:spespe:v:html10.3280/spe2012-001007
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web: Email:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fan:spespe:v:html10.3280/spe2012-001007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Angelo Ventriglia)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.