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Social Reproduction
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  • Page extent: 208 pages
  • Size: 234 x 153 mm
  • Weight: 0.48 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 331.12
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: HD4901 .P515 1992
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Labor economics
    • Labor market
    • Labor supply
    • Labor policy
    • Working class

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521418720 | ISBN-10: 0521418720)

DOI: 10.2277/0521418720

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 02:09 GMT, 28 November 2015)


This book focuses on the relationship between the process of production of commodities and the process of social reproduction of the labouring population, and seeks to restore that problematic relationship to the central place it had in the analysis of Smith, Ricardo, and Marx. The argument is directly opposed to that of the wages-fund theorists, who rejected the classical view of labour as a very special type of commodity whose price was determined exogenously by material, historical and institutional factors. By substituting a strict supply-and-demand mechanism they and their followers effectively removed the whole question of social reproduction from economic theory. This rendered marginal or analytically invisible certain fundamental aspects of the system. In this investigation the author draws on the history of economic thought, social history, and applied economics, using the surplus definition of profit. The resulting perspective, centred on the relation between production and social reproduction, opens new directions for economic analysis.


Introduction; 1. Wages as exogenous costs of social reproduction; 2. The displacement effect of the wages fund theory; 3. The role of the state in the labour market: i.e. social insecurity; 4. Women and The Poor Law; 5. Women's work at the core of the labour market; 6. The supply of labour as process of social reproduction; Notes; Bibliography.

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