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A Quarterly Model of the Labour Market in Interwar Britain

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  • Hatton, Timothy J.

Abstract

The paper analyses the determinants of interwar unemployment using a previously unexploited quarterly data set for 1924-39. Individual equations for insured employment, insured unemployment and the nominal wage rate are estimated and tested. The results indicate that the real wage was an important determinant of employment but not of the labor force, where demographic variables and the effects of the insurance system dominate. The model of wage setting encompasses several different hypotheses concerning the operation of the labor market. Three special cases with widely differing implications for labor market adjustment are each found to be consistent with the data. The data used in this study do not allow us to distinguish between interpretations which emphasize structural unemployment, wage rigidity or benefit-induced unemployment: this helps explain why such divergent views have been maintained.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 186.

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Date of creation: Jul 1987
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:186

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Related research

Keywords: Britain; Labour Market Adjustment; Unemployment; Wage Rigidity; Wage Setting; Wages;

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Cited by:
  1. Gunnar Bårdsen & Jurgen Doornik & Jan Tore Klovland, 2004. "A European-type wage equation from an American-style labor market: Evidence from a panel of Norwegian manufacturing industries in the 1930s," Working Paper 2004/8, Norges Bank.
  2. Hatton, Timothy J. & Thomas, Mark, 2010. "Labour Markets in the Interwar Period and Economic Recovery in the UK and the USA," CEPR Discussion Papers 7983, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Eichengreen, Barry & Jeanne, Olivier, 1998. "Currency Crisis and Unemployment: Sterling in 1931," CEPR Discussion Papers 1898, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Gunnar Bårdsen & Jurgen Doornik & Jan Tore Klovland, 2000. "A Wage Curve for the Interwar Labour Market: Evidence from a Panel of Norwegian Manufacturing Industries," Working Paper Series 1802, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, revised 15 Apr 2001.
  5. 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.
  6. Torberg Falch, 2001. "Decentralized Public Sector Wage Determination: Wage Curve and Wage Comparison for Norwegian Teachers in the Pre‐WW2 Period," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 15(3), pages 343-369, 09.
  7. Tony Syme, 2000. "Public Policy and Unemployment in Interwar France: An Empirical Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 55, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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