Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/2506
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers
Peer Review Status: Unrefereed
Title: Real wages, working time, and the Great Depression
Authors: Hart, Robert A
Roberts, J Elizabeth
Contact Email: r.a.hart@stir.ac.uk
Citation: Hart RA & Roberts JE (2010) Real wages, working time, and the Great Depression. Stirling Economics Discussion Paper, 2010-09.
Keywords: Real wage cyclicality
working time
piecework
timework
the Great Depression
JEL Code(s): E32
J31
J33
N64
Issue Date: Sep-2010
Series/Report no.: Stirling Economics Discussion Paper, 2010-09
Abstract: We have assembled two British data sets to re-examine the behaviour of real wages over the 1927-1937 cycle that contained the Great Depression. Both provide a degree of micro detail that greatly exceeds previous studies. The first consists of annual wages for 36 manufacturing industries. The second is based on blue-collar workers’ company payroll data within engineering and metal working firms. It allows us to distinguish between pieceworkers and timeworkers, 14 occupations and 51 travel-to-work geographical districts. We measure the cycle using national unemployment rates as well as rates that match our industrial and district breakdowns. The roles of standard and overtime hours are found to be crucial to the behaviour of real pay during the Depression. Real weekly earnings are strongly procyclical. Real hourly earnings of pieceworkers are also significantly procyclical. Otherwise, real wage measures that do not fully reflect hours changes produce either weak procyclical or acyclical wage responses.
Type: Working or Discussion Paper
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/2506
Affiliation: Economics
Economics

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