Unemployment Risk and Compensating Differential in Late-Nineteenth Century New Jersey Manufacturing
AbstractIn this paper we test for the existence of compensating differentials for unemployment risk in an era before unemployment insurance. Using information gathered from manufacturing worker surveys conducted during the 1880s in New Jersey, we find that workers who faced higher probabilities of predictable unemployment spells received a small compensating differential. Low-skill laborers and operatives were partially compensated for unemployment risks; skilled craftsmen were not. Although workers were not fully compensated for the unemployment risks they accepted, the results are of interest because most previous writers, dating back to Adam Smith, doubted the existence of compensating differentials in manufacturing. Differentials are typically believed to arise in employments with pronounced seasonal components, such as agriculture and construction.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9977.
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Atack, Jeremy & Bateman, Fred & Margo, Robert A., 2003.
"Productivity in manufacturing and the length of the working day: evidence from the 1880 census of manufactures,"
Explorations in Economic History,
Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 170-194, April.
- 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.
- 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," Macroeconomics 0012003, EconWPA.
- 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," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_317, Levy Economics Institute, The.
- Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Robert A. Margo, 2001.
"Part-Year Operation in Nineteenth Century American Manufacturing: Evidence from the 1870 and 1880 Censuses,"
Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers
0106, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised Mar 2001.
- Atack, Jeremy & Bateman, Fred & Margo, Robert A., 2002. "Part-Year Operation In Nineteenth-Century American Manufacturing: Evidence From The 1870 And 1880 Censuses," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(03), pages 792-809, September.
- James, John A, 1995. "Reconstructing the Pattern of American Unemployment before the First World War," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(247), pages 291-311, August.
- Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1991. "Unemployment, employment contracts, and compensating wage differentials: michigan in the 1890s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(03), pages 605-632, September.
- Price V. Fishback, 1998. "Operations of "Unfettered" Labor Markets: Exit and Voice in American Labor Markets at the Turn of the Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 722-765, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.