Full Employment

6 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2012

See all articles by G.C. Harcourt

G.C. Harcourt

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics

Date Written: August 28, 2012


I start with a moral axiom: the necessary (but not sufficient) condition for a just and equitable society is that its citizens and its government are committed to establishing and maintaining full employment of its citizens. That is to say, anyone who is willing to work under existing conditions – wage rates, conditions of work, and so on – should be able to find a job. A further proposition is that a modern capitalist economy in which the operations of finance, industry and commerce are indissolubly mixed, is unable, unaided by intervention, to ensure full employment in this sense. There is little, if anything, in the inducements to the principal decision-makers concerning employment, production and investment in capital goods, nor in the demands for exports and imports, that ensures that the overall outcome of these demands will provide sufficient total demand to sustain full employment of the existing labor forces and stocks of capital goods.

Keywords: full employment

JEL Classification: E2, J2

Suggested Citation

Harcourt, G.C., Full Employment (August 28, 2012). UNSW Australian School of Business Research Paper No. 2012 ECON 39, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2140988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2140988

G.C. Harcourt (Contact Author)

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052

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