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Productivity And Effort: The Labor-Supply Decisions Of Late Victorian Coalminers

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  • Treble, John G.
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    Abstract

    It is widely believed that one of the main causes of productivity decline in British coalmining in the late nineteenth century was that when wage rates increased, miners responded by reducing work effort and/or attendance. However, previous empirical studies have conflated behavioral responses with correlations between coal-seam quality and wage rates. Using individual panel data from a single mine, I show that the short-run wage elasticity of worker effort was in fact positive. The true elasticity of attendance is less clear, but there is no support for the idea that absenteeism increased when wage rates rose.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

    Volume (Year): 61 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 02 (June)
    Pages: 414-438

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:61:y:2001:i:02:p:414-438_02

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    Cited by:
    1. Engellandt, Axel & Riphahn, Regina T., 2004. "Incentive Effects of Bonus Payments: Evidence from an International Company," IZA Discussion Papers 1229, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Heywood, John S. & Jirjahn, Uwe & Wei, Xiangdong, 2008. "Teamwork, monitoring and absence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 676-690, December.
    3. Riphahn, Regina T., 2004. "Employment protection and effort among German employees," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 353-357, December.

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