Academic journal article Economics, Management and Financial Markets

Work, Subject of Labor Market Transactions

Academic journal article Economics, Management and Financial Markets

Work, Subject of Labor Market Transactions

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. Labor, the main production factor traded on the labor market, actually represents the essence of the functioning mechanism of this market. Labor was appreciated by Adam Smith as the unique source of wealth of the nations, and by John Maynard Keynes as the one that produces everything. In the factors of production system, work occupies the first and perhaps the most important place, due to the fact that thanks to it the combination and efficient use of the other factors of production are achieved.

JEL Classification: J2, N34

Keywords: inputs, production factor, categories of players, workforce skills, wage


Work, original factor of production, common to all types of social activities, represents the conscious activity, specifically human, through which people, using specific human tools and appropriate instruments, share their skills, knowledge and experience, in order to produce goods and to satisfy immediate and perspective needs. Reported on the time scale, work as a production factor is non-renewable.

For most of us work occupies a significant part of our lives, perhaps more than any other type of activity. We are often tempted to associate the notion of work as a chore with some tasks that we want to minimize and if possible to get rid of completely; but work has more advantages than drudgery, otherwise people would not feel so discouraged and confused when they become unemployed.

In essence, society cannot exist and operate without human labor. This axiomatic truth was understood and used in different ways, for different economic schools of thought. Classical and Neoclassical Economists have focused on increasing productivity and efficiency gains to increase wealth in the free market economy. Marxist economists have highlighted the limitations and drawbacks, including those related to the use of labor, the cyclical crisis, moving from the denial of the principle of market economy to its admission as a necessary evil, and then, nowadays, to be considered a means of escapism.

We will try to explain why such a methodological approach is necessary to highlight the changes that have occurred in work over time, in terms of process, role, content and the influences of these changes on work relations in the labor market.


Work has existed and manifested itself since ancient times. In order to analyze the emergence, evolution and development of this process, it is necessary to present the thinking of resonant names on this subject, of personalities who represent crucial landmarks for economic thinking. Many economists have put their ideas about work, or rather the ideas of their time into practice, because work, or if we want to be more rigorous, work content, has been in continuous and increasingly faster change.

Highlighting overall issues was possible because many economists have left behind them a whole fabric of ideas treated in different ways, often completely opposite, which draft the necessary foundation of a new theoretical edifice.

The concept of ancient thought Ancient writings, which summarize the economic thinking of the time in question, contain among other issues, information on the working process. For example, in the Code of Hammurabi, the arrow-headed inscription-II millennium B.C. evokes notions about labor law, referring to slavery and the employment of labor. Therein, it is first covered the phenomenon of wage labor. This is viewed as a phenomenon generated, on the one hand by the times in which there was demand for a greater amount of work that could not be covered exclusively by slaves and, on the other hand, by the existence of the social class of free men, who were able to hire.

Plato emphasized the value and economic importance of the process of specialization of labor. In addition, the city labor relations are manifested only in the third class1, considered lower class, which included farmersproducers. …

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