Lump of Labor

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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 ?
"I don't believe in that lump of labour fallacy, we don't know all the jobs that are going to be there," he said in reference to robots versus human labour.
The idea that immigrants displace jobs is sometimes called the "lump of labour fallacy", because it mistakenly assumes there is fixed amount of work to go around.
It is economically illiterate: it's the lump of labour fallacy. "The idea that there is a fixed quantum of jobs in the economy is wrong - it just doesn't work that way.