The price of labor, renumeration paid to employees for their work or services
  • Minimum Wage Laws - Legislation that places a lower limit on the prices paid for labor


Of the Wages of Labour, by Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776
Book One, Chapter VIII
"The produce of labour constitutes the natural recompence or wages of labour. In that original state of things, which precedes both the appropriation of land and the accumulation of stock, the whole produce of labour belongs to the labourer. He has neither landlord nor master to share with him. Had this state continued, the wages of labour would have augmented with all those improvements in its productive powers, to which the division of labour gives occasion. All things would gradually have become cheaper"
The State Is No Friend of the Worker, by Sheldon Richman, 24 Oct 2014
Discusses how the state interferes with setting wage rates and quotes Thomas Hodgskin on how to reward workers properly
"The surest way to eliminate wage discrimination is to keep government from impeding the competitive process with such devices as occupational licensing, permits, minimum product standards, so-called intellectual property, zoning, and other land-use restrictions. ... Being able to tell a boss, 'Take this job and shove it,' because alternatives, including self-employment, are available, is an effective way to establish the true market value of one's labor in the marketplace."
Related Topic: Thomas Hodgskin
Wages, by Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, 1949
Chapter 21 "Work and Wages", section 3; discusses labor, wages, how are wages determined and erroneus attacks on that explanation
"Labor is a scarce factor of production. As such it is sold and bought on the market. The price paid for labor is included in the price allowed for the product or the services if the performer of the work is the seller of the product or the services. If bare labor is sold and bought as such, either by an entrepreneur engaged in production for sale or by a consumer eager to use the services rendered for his own consumption, the price paid is called wages."
Related Topics: Entrepreneurship, Labor
How to Destroy Mongolian Mining, by Morgan J. Poliquin, Mises Daily, 20 Jun 2006
"Mongolian workers don't have the money to find and develop a mine and, like workers worldwide, accept wages in return for labor right away before, and regardless if, any sales or profits are realized by the capitalist investors. Ivanhoe estimated that over its life the project would provide 117,000 new jobs (full and part-time workers) ..."
Related Topics: Mongolia, Mining, Taxation
Teaching Basic Economics to Fifth Graders, by Arthur E. Foulkes, Mises Daily, 21 Jun 2006
Recounts the experience of teaching economics to fifth graders, one concept per week, for five weeks, focusing on trade, money, savings, competition and prices
"We found that the same rules that established prices for the goods in the auction would also establish salaries or wages for different careers. Demand for a labor service — acting on the available supply of people who can perform that service — will set the 'wage' for that service. Thus supply and demand, we found, could explain both the price of goods and the price of the human factors supplying those goods."
The Economic Role of Saving and Capital Goods, by Ludwig von Mises, The Freeman, Aug 1963
Explains there is a third factor of production aside from nature's resouces and human labor, and also that entrepreneurial judgement is necessary to attain the desired end of production
"There is no other method to make wage rates rise than by in­vesting more capital per worker. More investment of capital means: to give to the laborer more effi­cient tools. With the aid of better tools and machines, the quantity of the products increases and their quality improves. As the employer consequently will be in a position to obtain from the consumers more for what the employee has produced in one hour of work, he is able—and, by the competition of other employers, forced—to pay a higher price for the man's work."


The Real "Truth About the Economy:" Have Wages Stagnated?, by Donald J. Boudreaux, 31 Jan 2012
Responds to Robert Reich's video "The Truth About the Economy" (13 Jun 2011) focusing on three points: measures of inflation, benefits other than wages and distinguishing between statistics and individuals