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A Behavioral Explanation for Nominal Wage Rigidity during the Great Depression

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  • O'Brien, Anthony Patrick

Abstract

Nominal wages in manufacturing were left unchanged by the large decline in nominal demand that marked the first two years of the Great Depression. This rigidity in nominal wages is explained using the tools of the behavioral theory of the firm. The emphasis is on the reasons firms changed their decision rules linking fluctuations in final sales to changes in nominal wages. Copyright 1989, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 104 (1989)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 719-35

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:104:y:1989:i:4:p:719-35

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00335533

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Cited by:
  1. Julia Darby & Robert A. Hart, 2008. "Wages, Productivity, and Work Intensity in the Great Depression," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 91-103, July.
  2. Randall E. Parker & Philip Rothman, 2004. "An Examination of the Asymmetric Effects of Money Supply Shocks in the Pre--World War I and Interwar Periods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(1), pages 88-100, January.
  3. Robert A. Margo, 1992. "Employment and Unemployment in the 1930s," NBER Working Papers 4174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher J. Erceg & Michael D. Bordo & Charles L. Evans, 2000. "Money, Sticky Wages, and the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1447-1463, December.
  5. Ben Bernanke & Harold James, 1990. "The Gold Standard, Deflation, and Financial Crisis in the Great Depression: An International Comparison," NBER Working Papers 3488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lundborg, Per, 2000. "Taxes, Risk Aversion and Unemployment Insurance as Causes of Wage Rigidity," Working Paper Series 160, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Christopher Hanes, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity and Industry Characteristics in the Downturns of 1893, 1929, and 1981," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1432-1446, December.
  8. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Re-Examining the Contributions of Money and Banking Shocks to the U.S. Great Depression," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 183-260 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.

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