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Piecework versus Timework in British Wartime Engineering

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  • Hart, Robert A.

    ()
    (University of Stirling)

Abstract

The British engineering industry experienced extreme production and employment pressures during the rearmament period that preceded the Second World War and in the early war years. Did it react by placing a greater emphasis on incentive-compatible payment methods? This paper examines the relative employment and wage effects on pieceworkers and timeworkers. Empirical work is based on detailed firm-level payroll data produced by the Engineering Employers Federation covering the period 1935 to 1942. The paper investigates the effects of war on piecework and timework in relation to (a) labour market arguments concerning substitution between payment methods, (b) piece rate/time rate adjustments to changes in product demand, (c) relative changes in employment and hours, and (d) relative changes in hourly and weekly pay.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1593.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1593

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Keywords: piecework; timework; British engineering; World War II;

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References

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  1. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  2. Harry J. Paarsch & Bruce S. Shearer, 1996. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects: Statistical Evidence from Payroll Records," CIRANO Working Papers 96s-31, CIRANO.
  3. Paul J. Devereux, 2001. "The Cyclicality of real wages within employer-employee matches," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 835-850, July.
  4. Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1992. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Charles Brown, 1990. "Firms' choice of method of pay," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 165-182, February.
  7. Hart, Robert A., 2007. "Women doing men's work and women doing women's work: Female work and pay in British wartime engineering," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 114-130, January.
  8. Edward P. Lazear, 1996. "Performance Pay and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  10. W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  11. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-31, July.
  12. repec:fth:prinin:343 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Hart, Robert A., 2007. "Women doing men's work and women doing women's work: Female work and pay in British wartime engineering," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 114-130, January.

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