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Employment, Hours, and Earnings in the Depression: An Analysis of EightManufacturing Industries

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  • Bernanke, Ben S

Abstract

This paper employs monthly, industry-level data in a study of Depression-era labor markets. As in Robert Lucas (1970), the model usedhere assumes that employers can vary total labor input not only by changing the number of workers but also by changing the length of thework week. (This assumption seems particularly relevant to the 1930s, aperiod in which work weeks fluctuated sharply.) With aggregate demandtreated as exogenous and in conjunction with additional elements, themodel seems able to provide an empirical explanation of the behavior ofthe key labor market time series, including hours of work and real wages. Copyright 1986 by American Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 76 (1986)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 82-109

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:76:y:1986:i:1:p:82-109

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References

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  1. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-76, June.
  2. Yellen, Janet L, 1984. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 200-205, May.
  3. Rosen, Harvey S & Quandt, Richard E, 1978. "Estimation of a Disequilibrium Aggregate Labor Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(3), pages 371-79, August.
  4. Thomas J. Sargent, 1978. "Estimation of dynamic labor demand schedules under rational expectations," Staff Report 27, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Altonji, Joseph G, 1982. "The Intertemporal Substitution Model of Labour Market Fluctuations: An Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(5), pages 783-824, Special I.
  6. Altonji, Joseph & Ashenfelter, Orley, 1980. "Wage Movements and the Labour Market Equilibrium Hypothesis," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 217-45, August.
  7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1969. "Real Wages, Employment, and Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 721-54, Sept./Oct.
  8. Plessner, Yakir & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1983. "Unemployment and Wage Rigidity: The Demand Side," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 202-12, July.
  9. Rees, Albert, 1970. "On Equilibrium in Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 306-10, March-Apr.
  10. Orley Ashenfelter, 1977. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Working Papers 484, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1970. "Capacity, Overtime, and Empirical Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 23-27, May.
  12. Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-38, June.
  13. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eichengreen, Barry & Hatton, Tim, 1988. "Interwar Unemployment in International Perspective," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7bw188gk, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  2. Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Robert A. Margo, 2000. "Productivity in Manufacturing and the Length of the Working Day: Evidence from the 1880 Census of Manufactures," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0045, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  3. Shapiro, Matthew D, 1986. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 513-42, August.
  4. repec:cge:warwcg:146 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Taylor, Jason E. & Neumann, Todd C., 2013. "The effect of institutional regime change within the new deal on industrial output and labor markets," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 582-598.
  6. Hart, Robert A. & Roberts, J. Elizabeth, 2010. "Real Wages, Working Time, and the Great Depression: What Does Micro Evidence Tell Us?," IZA Discussion Papers 4977, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Alex Klein & Keisuke Otsu, 2013. "Efficiency, Distortions and Factor Utilization during the Interwar Period," Studies in Economics 1317, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  8. Barlevy, Gadi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 2004. "Earnings Inequality and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4451, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Margarita Katsimi & Sarantis Kalyvitis & Thomas Moutos, 2009. ""Unwarranted" Wage Changes and the Return on Capital," CESifo Working Paper Series 2804, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Edward E. Leamer & Christopher Thornberg, 1998. "Efforts and Wages: A New Look at the Inter-Industry Wage Differentials," NBER Working Papers 6626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hart, Robert A., 2006. "Piece Work Pay and Hourly Pay over the Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 2210, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Tony Syme, 2000. "Public Policy and Unemployment in Interwar France: An Empirical Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 55, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Klein, Alexander & Otsuy, Keisuke, 2013. "Efficiency, Distortions and Factor Utilization during the Interwar Period," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 147, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  14. Ángel Luis Martin Roman & Alfonso Moral de Blas, 2002. "Efectos de las variaciones en el tiempo de trabajo sobre la ocupación adolescente y juvenil en el sector industrial: un análisis regional," Revista de Estudios Regionales, Universidades Públicas de Andalucía, vol. 1, pages 51-77.

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