The Theory of Wage Determination: Proceedings of a Conference

The Theory of Wage Determination: Proceedings of a Conference

The Theory of Wage Determination: Proceedings of a Conference

The Theory of Wage Determination: Proceedings of a Conference

Excerpt

The International Economic Association was founded under the auspices of Unesco at a meeting held in Monaco in September 1950. Each year since then a round-table conference has been held with papers and discussion centred upon a single major topic or a sector of the discipline. Succeeding conferences have been devoted to The Problem of Long-Term International Balance (1950), Monopoly and Competition and their Regulation (1951), The Business Cycle in the Post-War World (1952), and The Determinants of Economic Progress (1953).

For the 1954 Round Table Conference the topic of Wage Determination was chosen. It was held September 4-13 at Seelisberg, Switzerland, in the Hotel Kulm overlooking Lake Lucerne. There were 35 participants from 13 countries; 22 papers were discussed during 16 half-day sessions. The final day was spent in a general review of the work as a whole. A summary of this discussion, in the final part of this volume, indicates the main issues of the conference, the degree to which a consensus was developed, and the questions on which a spectrum of ideas remained.

The conference brought together economists with a wide variety of professional experience, as a glance at the list of participants will show. The group included a number of general economists interested in pure theory, monetary and fiscal policy, as well as specialists in labour economics and the institutions of the wage market. Some had been solely academics; others had extensive experience in the planning and administration of public policies, and still others had been practitioners in labour organizations, managements, and governments, or arbitrators in the making of wage decisions and in the settlement of other disputes. As might be expected wherever 35 economists are gathered together, the discussion also reflected a range of political and social convictions and programmes for public policy. The sessions were much enriched by the wide diversity of these experiences and talents; in such a group general principle and stubborn fact could not long be kept apart.

The participants were drawn from quite different environments with diverse wage practices and institutions in the labour market.

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