Real wage cyclicality and the Great Depression: evidence from British engineering and metal working firms
AbstractBased on firm‐level payroll data from around 2000 member firms of the British Engineering Employers' Federation we examine the behavior of real hourly earnings over the 1927‐1937 cycle that contained the Great Depression. The pay statistics are based on adult male blue‐collar workers within engineering and metal working firms. They allow us to distinguish between pieceworkers and timeworkers and they are delineated by 14 occupations and 51 travel‐to‐work geographical engineering districts. We measure the cycle using national unemployment rates as well as rates that match our district breakdowns. Differences are found in the real hourly earnings cyclicality of pieceworkers and timeworkers. We attempt to relate our findings to those of modern micro panel data studies of real wage cyclicality. We offer some insight into why the estimates of real hourly pay display less procyclicality during the 1920s and 1930s than in studies based on more recent data.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Stirling, Division of Economics in its series Stirling Economics Discussion Papers with number 2011-09.
Date of creation: May 2011
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Postal: Division of Economics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
Phone: +44 (0)1786 467473
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Web page: http://www.econ.stir.ac.uk/
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aggregation bias; timework; piecework; the Great Depression; Real wage cyclicality;
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- Robert A. Hart & J. Elizabeth Roberts, 2013. "Real wage cyclicality and the Great Depression: evidence from British engineering and metal working firms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 197-218, April.
- NEP-ALL-2011-05-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2011-05-14 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAB-2011-05-14 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2011-05-14 (Macroeconomics)
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- Hart, Robert A & Roberts, J Elizabeth, 2013. "Industrial composition, methods of compensation, and real earnings in the Great Depression," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2013-03, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
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