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Labor Economics: An Austrian Perspective

  • Labor Economics

Etiquetas IntervencionismoTeoría de la ProducciónValor e Intercambio

05/08/2017Peter G. KleinWalter BlockMark ThorntonBenjamin Powell

The minimum wage was a hot topic in the 2016 presidential campaign. By law, on January 1, 2017, the first group of Seattle workers reached $15 per hour with an average of $11 per hour in the rest of the state. Proponents in Washington and across the country claim that the increase will reduce poverty and income inequality, and finally allow workers to afford housing and everyday essentials. This is in spite of the accepted economic principle that wages are a result of the marginal productivity of the worker, not housing costs and disparity in incomes. Is this social interference economically sustainable?

In “Labor Economics: An Austrian Perspective,” you’ll get a clear, unpoliticized, understanding of what is being exchanged in labor contracts and where labor derives its value. In lectures by Peter Klein, Mark Thornton, Walter Block, and Ben Powell, you’ll learn about guiding principles for entrepreneurs’ hiring decisions, the pernicious effects of minimum wage laws and other labor market interventions, and why “sweatshops” are the best available option for many workers. 

This course is free to all users for independent study.




Contact Peter G. Klein

Peter G. Klein is Carl Menger Research Fellow of the Mises Institute and W. W. Caruth Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business.

Contact Walter Block

Walter Block is the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Economics at Loyola University, senior fellow of the Mises Institute, and regular columnist for

Click here to see an extensive online compendium of Dr. Block's publications.

Click here for a complete list of Dr. Block's books.

Contact Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.

Contact Benjamin Powell

Benjamin Powell is the director of the Free Market Institute and a professor of economics in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration at Texas Tech University.

Professor Powell is the North American Editor of the Review of Austrian Economics, past president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education, and a senior fellow with the Independent Institute. He earned his B.S. in economics and finance from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. Prior to joining Texas Tech University, he taught economics at Suffolk University and San Jose State University.

Powell is the author of Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2014), editor of The Economics of Immigration: Market-Based Approaches, Social Science, and Public Policy (Oxford University Press, 2015), Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Development (Stanford University Press, 2008) and co-editor (with Randall G. Holcombe) of Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis (Transaction Publishers, 2009). He is the author of more than 50 scholarly articles and policy studies. His primary fields of research are economic development, Austrian economics, and public choice. Prof. Powell's research findings have been reported in more than 100 popular press outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He also writes frequently for the popular press. His popular writing has appeared in Investor's Business Daily, The Financial Times (London), the Christian Science Monitor, and many regional outlets. He has appeared on numerous radio and television outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, Showtime, CNBC, and he has been a regular guest on FOX Business Network's shows Stossel and Freedom Watch.

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