The Iron Law of Wages is a proposed law of economics that asserts that real wages always tend, in the long run, toward the minimum wage necessary to sustain the life of the worker. The theory was first named by Ferdinand Lassalle in the mid-nineteenth century.
The classical economic theory that wages will tend to be at or near subsistence level. Increases above subsistence will result in population growth that produces more workers and a resulting decline in wages. Also called subsistence theory of wages.