A core proposition of mainstream economic theory is that labor is a commodity whose properties are not essentially different from any other. From this formative premise, the labor market is represented as just another market, from which it follows that it can be analyzed in the same manner as any other salable commodity—with a straightforward application of the theory of supply and demand. 1 To the extent that other considerations matter, they are thought to be in the domain of "normative economics," which most practicing economists take to be a preanalytic set of attitudes, prejudices, or agendas that are to be excluded from theoretical and scientific analysis.