Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Added and Discouraged Workers in the Late 1930s: A Re-Examination

Contents:

Author Info

  • T. Aldrich Finegan
  • Robert A. Margo

Abstract

We revisit a famous controversy in labor economics: the debate between W.S. Woytinsky and Clarence Long over "added" and "discouraged" worker effects in the late 1930s. According to Woytinsky, the Depression created large numbers of added workers, persons who entered the labor force when the head of the household became unemployed. Long, on the other hand, believed that the number of added workers was trivial compared with the number of discouraged workers, and subsequent research has largely supported Long. Using a sample of married women drawn from the public use sample of the 1940 census, we show that added worker effect was alive and well in the late 1930s, but that its viability was muted by the operation of work relief. Wives whose husbands held "public emergency work relief" jobs with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) or related agencies were far less likely to participate in the labor force than wives whose husbands were employed in a private sector or non-relief government job, or whose husbands were unemployed, so much so that the added worker effect disappears in the aggregate if the impact of work relief is ignored.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/h0045.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Historical Working Papers with number 0045.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Apr 1993
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Economic History, Volume 54 (March 1994): 64-84
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0045

Note: DAE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Goldin, Claudia, 1989. "Life-Cycle Labor-Force Participation of Married Women: Historical Evidence and Implications," Scholarly Articles 2656816, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1.
  3. Fleisher, Belton M & Rhodes, George, 1976. "Unemployment and the Labor Force Participation of Married Men and Women: A Simultaneous Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(4), pages 398-406, November.
  4. Lundberg, Shelly, 1985. "The Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 11-37, January.
  5. Devine, Theresa J. & Kiefer, Nicolas M., 1991. "Empirical Labor Economics: The Search Approach," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195059366, October.
  6. Kesselman, Jonathan R & Savin, N Eugene, 1978. "Three-and-a-Half Million Workers Never Were Lost," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(2), pages 205-25, April.
  7. Sundstrom, William A., 1992. "Last Hired, First Fired? Unemployment and Urban Black Workers During the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(02), pages 415-429, June.
  8. Clarence D. Long, 1958. "The Labor Force Under Changing Income and Employment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number long58-1.
  9. Goldin, Claudia D, 1991. "The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women's Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 741-56, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0045. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.