17 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2008
Sidney Chapman's theory of the hours of labour, published in 1909 in The Economic Journal, was acknowledged as authoritative by the leading economists of the day. It provided important insights into the prospects for market rationality with respect to work time arrangements and hinted at a profound immanent critique of economists' excessive concern with external wealth. Chapman's theory was consigned to obscurity by mathematical analyses that reverted heedlessly to outdated and naïve assumptions about the connection between hours and output. The centenary of the theory's publication offers an occasion to reconsider what has been lost by economists' neglect of Chapman's theory.
Keywords: hours of work
JEL Classification: J22, B13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation