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In classical economics and all micro-economics labour is one of three factors of production, the others being land and capital. It is a measure of the work done by human beings. There are macro-economic system theories which have created a concept called human capital (referring to the skills that workers possess, not necessarily their actual work), although there are also counterposing macro-economic system theories that think human capital is a contradiction in terms.
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Compensation and Measurement
The price of labour is called a wage, and the price of labour per period of time is referred to as the wage rate. The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
Other frequently used terms include:
- wage = payment per unit of time (typically an hour)
- earnings = payment per over a period (typically a week, a month, or a year)
- total compensation = earnings + benefits
- income = total compensation + unearned income
- economic rent = total compensation - opportunity cost
Economists measure labour in terms of hours worked, total wages, or efficiency.
Types of labour
- economic rent
- human resources
- labour economics
- offshore outsourcing
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