(redirected from Wage Theory)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to Wage Theory: Human Capital Theory


An amount of money paid each hour to compensate an employee for the amount of time he/she spends working. Wages are paid for both skilled and unskilled labor. For example, one may pay an employee $8 per hour for working at a fast food restaurant or $45 per hour for highly trained work at a car factory. What distinguishes wages from salaries is the fact that wages are only paid for the hours worked; an employee is paid more if he works for more hours. Salaries, on the other hand, are the same whether one works five hours or 50. See also: Overtime, Minimum Wage.


the money payment made to a worker, usually on a weekly basis, for the use of his or her labour. A worker's basic wage will depend on the hourly WAGE RATE and the number of hours worked. The latter is usually related to the number of hours specified as constituting the ‘basic'working week, but in some cases workers may be given a GUARANTEED BASIC WAGE to protect them against loss of earnings due to short-time working, and in other cases workers may be able to add to their basic wage by OVERTIME earnings. In addition to PAYMENT BY TIME, workers may be paid in proportion to their output under a PAYMENT BY RESULTS scheme. See PAY, MEASURED DAY WORK.


the PAY made to an employee for the use of his or her LABOUR as a FACTOR OF PRODUCTION. Wages are usually paid on a weekly basis, and they depend on the hourly WAGE RATE and the number of hours that constitute the basic working week. In addition, employees can add to their basic wage by working OVERTIME.

As an alternative to workers being paid on the basis of hours worked (a ‘payment by time’ system), employees may be paid in proportion to their output (a ‘payment by results’ system).

In aggregate terms, wages are a source of income and are included as a part of NATIONAL INCOME. See SALARY, NATIONAL INCOME ACCOUNTS.

References in periodicals archive ?
The central issue of the debate is whether Marx's wage theory implies a long run reduction of wages to what is essentially a minimal subsistence level.
As a result, the thematic development of certain aspects of wage theory is not as sharply drawn as it would have been if the material had been organized explicitly along thematic or conceptual lines.
Lapides gives no indication as to how these elements might be integrated into Marx's wage theory.
Considerable benefits will be reaped by Marxist theorists through the contribution that Lapides makes in regards to the articulation of Marx's wage theory.
Efficiency wage theory and business cycle comovement
How might efficiency wage theory help account for business cycle comovement?
This is the intuition underlying the idea that efficiency wage theory may help explain business cycle comovement.
Efficiency wage theory predicts a positive coefficient for this variable, and also suggest that the coefficient on relative wage should equal that of log(labour) the Solow equilibrium condition.
An alternative version of efficiency wage theory, grounded in asymmetric information, views above-market clearing wages as a disciplinary device.
14) This last possibility allows efficiency wage theory to be modified to explain several phenomena that traditional efficiency wage models cannot explain.
These results may have important implications for efficiency wage theory.
Tests of Efficiency Wage Theory and Contract Theory with Disaggregated Data from the U.