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Did U.S. wages become stickier between the world wars?

  • Dighe, Ranjit S.
  • Schmitt, Elizabeth Dunne
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    This paper attempts to determine whether nominal wages became less responsive to labor market and price fluctuations during the 1920s or 1930s. Results of modified Phillips curve regressions, in which the monthly value of wages depends on lagged values of employment or total man-hours and prices, indicate considerable stickiness of wages throughout the interwar period. Neither the beginning of the Great Depression in 1929 nor the start of the New Deal in 1933 is associated with any discernible increase in wage stickiness. And the "Great Deflation" of 1920-1922 apparently did not include a greater responsiveness of wages to prices or labor-market conditions.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The North American Journal of Economics and Finance.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (August)
    Pages: 165-181

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:21:y:2010:i:2:p:165-181
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    1. Hanes, Christopher, 1996. "Changes in the Cyclical Behavior of Real Wage Rates, 1870–1990," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 837-861, December.
    2. Robert J. Gordon, 1981. "Why U.S. Wage and Employment Behavior Differs from That in Britain and Japan," NBER Working Papers 0809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    4. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher J. Erceg & Charles L. Evans, 1997. "Money, sticky wages, and the Great Depression," International Finance Discussion Papers 591, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
    6. Ronald G. Bodkin, 1962. "The Wage-Price Productivity Nexus," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 147, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    7. Temin, Peter & Wigmore, Barrie A., 1990. "The end of one big deflation," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 483-502, October.
    8. Elliott, Graham & Rothenberg, Thomas J & Stock, James H, 1996. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 813-36, July.
    9. James John A., 1998. "The Early History of Nominal Wage Rigidity in American Industrial Labor Markets," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 243-274.
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