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The Labor Force Participation of Older Americans in 1900: Further Results

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  • Margo Robert A.

Abstract

Data from the public use sample of the 1900 census are used to study the proper labor force classification of older male Americans experiencing 6 months or more of unemployment in the previous year ("long-term unemployed"). In terms of their personal characteristics, the long-term unemployed were similar in many respects to persons with a gainful occupation. Because the probability of re-employment, conditional on unemployment, appears to have declined with age, the probability of experiencing long-term unemployment rose as persons aged. Census data are consistent with the view that the older an individual was upon entering the status of long-term unemployment, the greater the likelihood the person would leave the labor force in a short period of time. I conclude, however, that this is insufficient reason to exclude the long-term unemployed from the count of gainful workers in 1900, as has recently been advocated.
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  • Margo Robert A., 1993. "The Labor Force Participation of Older Americans in 1900: Further Results," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 409-423, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:30:y:1993:i:4:p:409-423
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Margo, Robert A., 1990. "The incidence and duration of unemployment : Some long-term comparisons," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 217-220, March.
    2. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
    3. Thomas S. Coleman, 1989. "Unemployment Behavior: Evidence from the CPS Work Experience Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 1-38.
    4. Moen, Jon, 1987. "The Labor of Older Men: A Comment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(03), pages 761-767, September.
    5. Joseph F. Quinn & Richard V. Burkhauser & Daniel A. Myers, 1990. "Passing the Torch: The Influence of Economic Incentives on Work and Retirement," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pt, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Costa, Dora L., 1996. "Health and Labor Force Participation of Older Men, 1900–1991," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 62-89, March.
    2. Lee, Chulhee, 1999. "Farm Value and Retirement of Farm Owners in Early-Twentieth-Century America," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 387-408, October.
    3. Chulhee Lee, 2009. "Technological Changes and Employment of Older Manufacturing Workers in Early Twentieth Century America," NBER Working Papers 14746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Chen Song & Louis Nguyen, 2003. "The Effect of Hernias on the Labor Force Participation of Union Army Veterans," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Labor Force Participation over the Life Cycle: Evidence from the Past, pages 253-310 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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