Unemployment in Interwar Britain: Dole or Doldrums?
AbstractSeveral controversial recent studies seek to explain Britain's high interwar unemployment rate as a consequence of the generosity of her unemployment insurance system. All of these studies are based on macroeconomic time-series data. In contrast, this paper employs a microeconomic cross-section, a sub-sample of some 2,400 adult males drawn from the New Survey of London Life and Labour, conducted between 1928 and 1931. I use this data to analyse the relationship between unemployment benefits and unemployment status. I find a generally positive association between the incidence of unemployment and the estimated benefit/wage ratio, but this relationship is significant only in the case of secondary workers. Survey data suggest that insurance benefits made only a small contribution to interwar unemployment.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 207.
Date of creation: Nov 1987
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- Eichengreen, Barry, 1987. "Unemployment in Interwar Britain: Dole or Doldrums?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 597-623, December.
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