Lump of Labor

Lump of Labor

The idea that the amount of work that can be done in an economy is fixed. According to this idea, competition for a job is a zero-sum game because there can only be so many possible jobs. Most economists reject the lump of labor hypothesis.
References in periodicals archive ?
To suggest that there are a finite number of jobs commits an error known as the "lump of labor fallacy." That fallacy suggests that when automation or technology eliminates a job, there's nothing that people want that would create employment for the person displaced by the automation.
Economist David Schloss termed it the "lump of labor fallacy" and thoroughly refuted it in 1892.
If you subscribe to the lump of labor fallacy, then you would think that these older workers would take jobs away from younger workers.
The theory Wu and other economists are fighting is known as "lump of labor,'' and it has maintained traction in the U.S., particularly in a climate of high unemployment.
The repeal of the tax break on overtime reflects another economic fallacy to which French Socialist politicians are deeply attached: the "lump of labor" notion that underlay the most disastrous of their economic policies -- the 35-hour workweek, introduced in 2000.