The Role of Labor in a Socio-ecological Transition: Combining Post-Keynesian and Ecological Economics Perspectives

This article investigates the role of labor in post-Keynesian economics and proposes an integration with ecological macroeconomics. Although post-Keynesians have to date not engaged extensively with environmental limits, there is an increasing interest in modeling policy proposals by ecological economists. While ecological and post-Keynesian economists share many ways of conceptualizing labor that are distinct from the mainstream, it is unclear how these feed into modeling, since post-Keynesians model labor as a residual and not as a policy variable per se. In fact, post-Keynesians have traditionally focused on targeting employment via targeting aggregate goods demand, rather than targeting it directly. This paper argues that by complementing this demand-side view with post-Keynesian perspectives on labor supply, one can arrive at a post-Keynesian labor theory that offers entry points for ecological theorizing.