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Employment and Unemployment in the 1930s

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  • Robert A. Margo

Abstract

Recent research on labor markets in the 1930s has shifted attention from aggregate to disaggregate time series and towards microeconomic evidence. The paper begins by reviewing the conventional statistics of the United States labor market during the Great Depression and the paradigms to explain them. It then turns to recent studies of employment and unemployment using disaggregated data of various types. The paper concludes with discussions of research on other aspects of labor markets in the 1930s and on a promising source of microdata for future work.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.7.2.41
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 7 (1993)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 41-59

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:7:y:1993:i:2:p:41-59

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.7.2.41
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  1. Goldin, Claudia & Margo, Robert A, 1992. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid-century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 1-34, February.
  2. Simon, Curtis J & Nardinelli, Clark, 1992. "Does Industrial Diversity Always Reduce Unemployment? Evidence from the Great Depression and After," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 384-97, April.
  3. O'Brien, Anthony Patrick, 1989. "A Behavioral Explanation for Nominal Wage Rigidity during the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 719-35, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Bernanke, Ben & Parkinson, Martin, 1989. "Unemployment, Inflation, and Wages in the American Depression: Are There Lessons for Europe?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 210-14, May.
  6. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," NBER Working Papers 1686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Smith, James P, 1984. "Race and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 685-98, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Bordo, Michael D. & Evans, Charles L., 1995. "Labor productivity during the Great Depression," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 41-45, January.
  2. Jon Cohen & Michelle Alexopoulos, 2012. "The Media is the Measure: Technical change and employment, 1909-1949," 2012 Meeting Papers 301, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Herman De Jong & Pieter Woltjer, 2011. "Depression dynamics: a new estimate of the Anglo‐American manufacturing productivity gap in the interwar period," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(2), pages 472-492, 05.
  4. Russell Cooper & Dean Corbae, 1997. "Financial Fragility and the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 6094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joshua L. Rosenbloom & William A. Sundstrom, 1997. "The Sources of Regional Variation in the Severity of the Great Depression: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing, 1919-1937," NBER Working Papers 6288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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