Wages in Practice and Theory

Wages in Practice and Theory

Wages in Practice and Theory

Wages in Practice and Theory

Excerpt

The origins of this book date back to 1920, when, as a research student at the London School of Economics, I first began to give special attention to wage theory and the practical problems of wage determination and regulation. Mv first intention was to work from the concrete facts towards that revision of wage theory which I then dimly felt must be necessary, in view of the changed conditions of the labour market during the last twenty to thirty years. But the discovery was soon made that the compilation and arrangement of the necessary statistical and other data was in itself a major task and not the mere preliminary which I had anticipated. In the end its accomplishment for the five great industries selected for special study occupied nearly the whole of my time as a research student. The results and conclusions relating to the coal-mining industry seemed sufficiently new and important to justify their publication as a study complete in itself (Wages in the Coal Industry,P. S. King , 1923). The remainder of the material, after presentation as a thesis, had to be put aside for some years. I have now worked it up into the form in which it is presented in Parts I and II of this book, and hope that these studies may be of some interest and value in themselves, in addition to forming a background for the theoretical analysis and conclusions of Part III. For I wish to make it clear that Part III is to be regarded as an interim and not a final report on the subject. It will be easy for the critic to point out that, however great my dissatisfaction with existing wage theory, I offer no complete or comprehensive substitute. This is true, but does not alter the probability that the contribution here made, if it is valid as it stands, will . . .

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