Adam Smith's Simplified Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 8e: Seasonal and Sticky Wages

Chapter 8e: Seasonal and Sticky wages

Seasonal and Sticky wages
44 It is pretended that, workers are more idle in cheap years, while more industrious in dear years. 45 In years of plenty, workers frequently leave their employers and work for themselves. 46 In years of scarcity, the difficulty and uncertainty of subsistence make all such people eager to return to employment. 47 All employers frequently make better bargains with their servants in dear than in cheap years.

Nothing can be more absurd than to imagine that men should work less when they work for themselves, than when they work for other people.

  48 Louis Messance is a knowledgable and ingenuous French author.   49 Linen manufacture in Scotland and the coarse woollens in the west riding of Yorkshire are growing manufactures.  

50 The produce of all great manufactures for distant sale must necessarily depend, not so much upon the dearness or cheapness of the seasons but instead on:

Most of the work, which is probably done in cheap years, never enters the public registers of manufactures.  

51 Although variations in wages are frequently opposite the variations in the price of provisions, the price of provisions has an influence on wages.

  52 The money price of labour rises because the demand for labour: 53 In a year of sudden and extraordinary plenty, many employers have funds to employ more industrious people than the year before. 54 In a year of sudden and extraordinary scarcity, the funds for employing industry are less than the year before.

 
Sticky Wages

55 The scarcity of a dear year reduces the demand for labour and tends to lower its price,  just as the high price of provisions raises it. 56 The increase in wages:

The increase of stock which raises wages tends to increase its productivity.


Next: Chapter 9a: Profits
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