by the Sandwichman
Sandwichman is grateful to cogito for reminding us that it is far, far easier to dismiss a paradoxical truth* by rote recitation of hallowed platitudes than to investigate the arguments. The reason I offered a $10,000 prize for refuting my rebuttal of the lump-of-labor fallacy claim was to create an incentive for people to actually do the investigative work -- and, of course, so that I would have a club with which to beat those who don't. But -- Alas! -- I buried my prize offer too deep in my May 1st posting. So today, I'm repeating the challenge in a more prominent place:
I am offering a $10,000 prize, in Canadian funds, to be awarded to the author who directly and conclusively refutes the argument in "Why Economists Dislike a Lump of Labor," (Review of Social Economics, September 2007). My argument is that the authenticity of the lump-of-labor fallacy claim, with regard to unemployment and the hours of work, is questionable; that various explanations of it are inconsistent and contradictory and that Sydney J. Chapman’s neglected theory of the hours of labor presents a more coherent analysis of the reduction of working time than the often-cited fallacy claim.
The article must be accepted for publication in one of the 30 top-ranked economics journals. Only anonymously peer-reviewed articles are eligible, not book reviews, commentary or other journal front or back matter. Journal rankings will be taken to be those specified in Kalaitzidakis, Mamuneas and Stengos "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics." Journal of the European Economic Association 1 (December 2003).
(And, no, it won't count if the article simply re-asserts the fallacy claim and follows that by grinding out yet another "empirical analysis". The article must directly confront the argument of my article. The question of whether the article successfully refutes my argument I will leave to be resolved by publishability.)
Enter by notifying me, Tom Walker, by mail or email that your article has been accepted for publication in one of the qualified journals. Mail address is 1204 Lakewood Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 4M4. Email: lumpoflabor [at] gmail [dot] com.
Deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. on January 31, 2010. In the event an article is under review by a qualified journal on the deadline date, an extension may be granted provided the article was submitted to the journal on or before December 31, 2009. All requests for extension of the contest entry deadline must attach a copy of the submitted draft.
If no contest entry meets all of the above criteria, a consolation prize of $1000 Canadian may be awarded to an anonymously peer-reviewed article meeting the core argument criteria, published in a journal ranked 31-159 by Kalaitzidakis et al. Articles published in a non-ranked journal and articles submitted to but rejected by an economics journal may be given consideration for the consolation prize at the sole discretion of the contest organizer.
Prize money will be awarded only to the author or authors of the article specified in the winning entry. In the event of group authorship, prize money will be divided equally between the authors unless specified otherwise and agreed in advance by all authors.
*(The paradoxical truth, by the way, is not that shorter hours always increases wages. The paradox is that shorter hours may increase wages under given circumstances -- hours of work that are too long, wages that are too low and unemployment that is too widespread and persistent. Those are the very conditions that advocates of shorter working time believe to generally prevail under capitalism. Doctrinaire economists, on the other hand, contend that unemployment is voluntary and that hours and wages are set at their optima by workers' preferences and the magic mechanism of the free market -- perfect competition, universal omniscience, perpetual motion and all.)