Labour in History & Economics Conference
The transformation of work and concepts of labour, the movement of workers within and between countries, and changes in how people obtain work are significant trends in many contemporary economies. While they may appear to be new developments, these processes have historical roots and precedents. With the increasing use of historical data in economics and the return of labour to the forefront of economic history, the time is ripe for discussion and collaboration between labour historians, economic historians, and labour economists.
The empirical turn in economics has led to new research related to labour and work including the use of historical case studies. At the same time, the high-wage economy interpretation of the Industrial Revolution has put workers and wages at the forefront of economic history, and historians of capitalism have advanced the importance of labour repression, especially slavery, as a cause of modern economic growth. The Oxford Conference on Labour in History and Economics will bring together scholars from these disciplines to share research, perspectives, and methodologies.
We seek papers that speak to both the scholar’s discipline and to colleagues in the other disciplines, preferably touching on the themes of migration, regulation, and the work environment. For example, we hope to see papers from economists which use historical data or engage themes relevant to economic history and/or labour history. Economic history papers may use econometric and/or qualitative methods to link with either or both of the other disciplines. Submissions on labour history might incorporate ideas from labour economics and economics more generally, or speak to persistent themes in the social sciences. Papers that discuss issues of intersectionality, including race, gender, and class, are encouraged, and we welcome submissions that study female, child, and non-white labourers.
Potential panels include:
- Workers’ decision-making in migration and job searches
- Supervisory structures and discipline
- Effects of labour regulation on work experience
- Impacts of occupations on health and well-being
- Measuring employer power in labour markets
- Worker and employer bargaining strategies
- Definitions of work, labour, and the labour market
- Intersections of gender, race, and class in experiences of labour