BUT the positive side to this dumb paper is the sentence, "Those who make the fallacy claim fail to offer specific evidence of the supposed belief in a fixed amount of work." That's a paraphrase of what the Sandwichman has been saying for 10 years!Well the Sandwichman was wrong. That was not a paraphrase of what the Sandwichman had been saying. That was exactly what the Sandwichman had written three years earlier, with but one word changed. "Those who make the fallacy claim neglect to offer specific evidence of the supposed belief in a fixed amount of work."
Well, so what? So it turns out that the IMF Working Paper evolved into a chapter in a book edited by Jonathan Gruber and David Wise (2010), Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: The Relationship to Youth Employment, published by the University of Chicago Press and the National Bureau of Economic Research. Six chapters in the book identified the lump-of-labour fallacy as a key driver of European early retirement policy and, yet again, those who made the fallacy claims neglected to offer specific evidence of the supposed belief in a fixed amount of work. There were no interviews, survey research or content analysis to substantiate the assertions that policy-makers were motivated by a fallacious belief in a fixed amount of work. There was, however, at least a citation of Walker's 2007 paper, "Why Economists Dislike a Lump of Labor."
A couple of years have passed and in the meanwhile the Sandwichman has journeyed to Farnworth, Lancashire to commune with the spirit of Dorning Rasbotham, esq., originator of the fallacy claim -- that some persons held the false principle that there was "a certain quantity of labour to be performed" -- a principle that he upheld at the top of page 18 before condemning it at the bottom. In the meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper traveled to Davos to announce that he would raise the eligibility age for Old Age Security some time in the distant future. And, in the meanwhile, Lucy Kellaway wrote a column in the Financial Times affirming that "The best thing I can do for today’s youth is quit," observing that she "tried this idea out on various contemporaries and they all say it’s rubbish. They mutter about the 'lump of labour fallacy' with a panicky look in their eyes."
And so now we know, why they get that panicky look in their eyes!