Lisa Herzog (UGroeningen) @ Online
Sep 13 @ 11:00 – 12:00
Lisa Herzog (UGroeningen) @ Online

As part of the activities of the Philosophy of Work Network, Lisa Herzog (UGroeningen) will offer a presentation entitled: “Labor Markets without Market Wages”.

The activities of the Philosophy of Work Network are open to researchers and graduate students with research interests in this area. Please write to the organizers, Denise Celentano ( and Pablo Gilabert (, to receive the zoom link.


Should wages be determined by market forces? This paper argues against this view, based on consideration of the kind of good that labor is and what it means to “trade” it. Two arguments brought forward in favor of market wages, the desert argument and the information argument, are not only mutually incompatible but also both not convincing. The first founders on the problem of complementarities in value creation. The second fails not only because of endogeneity problems, but also because of systemic market failures in labor markets. But is it possible to give up labor markets without endangering freedom of occupation or risking problematic degrees of inefficiency? This can be achieved by understanding labor markets as matching markets, comparable to those for donor organs: what matters is creating good matches, but the price mechanism is not central for this. From this perspective, various existing institutions, such as minimum wages and collective bargaining, can be reinterpreted as “approximative institutions” that move labor markets in a more just direction.