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Maximum Hours Legislation and Female Employment: A Reassessment

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  • Goldin, Claudia

Abstract

The causes and consequences of state maximum-hours legislation for female workers, passed from 1848 to the 1920s, are found to differ from a recent interpretation. Altho ugh maximum-hours legislation served to reduce scheduled hours in 192 0, the impact was minimal. Curiously, the legislation appears to have operated equally for men. Legislation affecting only women was sympt omatic of a general desire by labor for lower hours, and these lower hours were achieved in the tight, and otherwise special, World War I labor market. Most important, the restrictiveness of the legislation had no adverse effect on the employment share of women in manufacturi ng. Copyright 1988 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 96 (1988)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 189-205

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:96:y:1988:i:1:p:189-205

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Cited by:
  1. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Huberman, Michael & Minns, Chris, 2007. "The times they are not changin': Days and hours of work in Old and New Worlds, 1870-2000," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 538-567, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Casey B. Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Population and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Josh Angrist, 2000. "Consequences of Imbalanced Sex Ratios: Evidence from America's Second Generation," NBER Working Papers 8042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Yana van der Meulen Rodgers & Gunseli Berik, 2006. "Asia's Race to Capture Post-MFA Markets: A Snapshot of Labor Standards, Compliance, and Impacts on Competitiveness," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2006_02, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
  7. Dora L. Costa, 2000. "Hours of work and the Fair Labor Standards Act: A study of retail and wholesale trade, 1938รป1950," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(4), pages 648-664, July.
  8. Costa, Dora L, 2000. "The Wage and the Length of the Work Day: From the 1890s to 1991," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 156-81, January.
  9. Michael Huberman & Chris Minns, 2005. "Hours of Work in Old and New Worlds: The Long View, 1870-2000," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp95, IIIS.

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