Macquarie University
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An Introduction to the Reserve Economy

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posted on 2022-11-11, 00:18 authored by Timothy Robert Stroh

This thesis is an introductory exploration into the novel concept of a reserve economy. The reserve economy is a job guarantee programme that utilises worker co-operatives to emphasise work that is beneficial to the subjective wellbeing of the individual undertaking it. This would be a decentralised job guarantee model based on democratic participation to act as a social safety net, using local knowledge to serve local needs. The argument for wellbeing is based on a combination of normative claims, empirical claims from psychology, and claims from heterodox economic theory. Through the assertion that work can be a force for good in a person’s life, but some working conditions are detrimental to wellbeing, the hypothesis is developed that for individuals to escape employment that is damaging to their subjective health they must have alternative options available to them. Two potential options are discussed. The job guarantee is argued to be an effective policy to put people into work but would not necessarily be good at generating wellbeing in its workers, while worker co-operatives are seen to be an effective means for producing wellbeing, but due to free market constraints may not be accessible to everyone that could benefit from them. Thus, the two ideas, the job guarantee and worker co-operatives, are combined to propose the new job guarantee model of the reserve economy.


Table of Contents

Inroduction -- Work and Wellbeing -- The Job Guarantee -- Worker Co-operatives -- The Reserve Economy -- Conclusions and Opportunities for Further Research -- References


Master of Research Thesis

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, 2022

Department, Centre or School

Department of Philosophy

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Jean-Philippe Deranty


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




71 pages