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Appears in Collections:Economics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Hours and wages in the Depression: British engineering, 1926-1938
Author(s): Hart, Robert A
Keywords: Hours, Wages, the Great Depression, Engineering
Issue Date: Oct-2001
Citation: Hart RA (2001) Hours and wages in the Depression: British engineering, 1926-1938, Explorations in Economic History, 38 (4), pp. 478-502.
Abstract: On their intensive margins, firms in the British engineering industry adjusted to the severe falls in demand during the 1930s Depression by cutting hours of work. This provided an important means of reducing labour input and marginal labour costs, through movements from overtime to short-time schedules. Nominal basic wage rates dropped relatively modestly while their real wage equivalents continued to rise throughout the trough years of the recession. This paper provides detailed labour market and empirical analysis of the hours and wage adjustment processes. Quantitative work is based on cell data from a panel of 28 local labour markets for the period 1926-38. The data dichotomise between skilled fitters and unskilled labourers and between time-rate and piece-rate workers.
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Rights: Published in Explorations in Economic History by Elsevier.

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