by the Sandwichman
One hundred years ago today, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sydney J. Chapman presented his theory of the hours of labour as his presidential address to the Section on Economic Science and Statistics of the British Academy for the Advancement of Science.
That analysis came to be considered "the classical statement of the theory of 'hours' in a free market." But, curiously economists have "forgotten" Chapman's conclusions, which rather inconveniently undermine much of their standard assumptions about the determination of hours, wages and employment.
Today, as policy makers wring their hands about whether the next economic upturn will follow the course of a succession of "jobless recoveries," they would do well to pause and consider whether the questions they first forgot, then discounted, and eventually dismissed and trivialized might lead to the "ultimate solution" to the problem of full employment.
Last October, the Sandwichman serialized his chronicle of the strange disappearance of S.J. Chapman's Theory of Labour. I have linked up the segments and provide a comprehensive link page after the jump: