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The Work and Wages of Single Women, 1870 to 1920


  • Goldin, Claudia


Single women in the U.S. dominated the female labor force from 1870 to 1920. Data on the home life and working conditions of women in 1888 and 1907 enable the estimation of earnings functions. Work in the manufacturing sector for these women was task oriented and payment was frequently by the piece. Earnings rose steeply with experience and peaked early; learning was mainly on-the-job. Sex segregation of employment is seen as a partial product of the method of payment, and the early termination of human capital investment was a function of the life-cycle labor force participation of these women, although the role of the family is also critical.
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  • Goldin, Claudia, 1980. "The Work and Wages of Single Women, 1870 to 1920," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(01), pages 81-88, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:40:y:1980:i:01:p:81-88_10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 1-20, January.
    2. Smith, Rodney T, 1976. "The Legal and Illegal Markets for Taxed Goods: Pure Theory and an Application to State Government Taxation of Distilled Spirits," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 393-429, August.
    3. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
    4. Buonanno, Paolo & Durante, Ruben & Prarolo, Giovanni & Vanin, Paolo, 2011. "On the historical and geographic origins of the Sicilian mafia," MPRA Paper 37009, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Feb 2012.
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    Cited by:

    1. Goldin, Claudia, 1986. "Monitoring Costs and Occupational Segregation by Sex: A Historical Analysis," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-27, January.
    2. repec:eee:labchp:v:1:y:1986:i:c:p:103-204 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Claudia Goldin, 1986. "The Earnings Gap Between Male and Female Workers: An Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 1888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:eee:wdevel:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:360-380 is not listed on IDEAS

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