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Hours and Wages in the Depression: British Engineering, 1926-1938

Listed author(s):
  • Hart, Robert A

On their intensive margins, firms in the British engineering industry adjusted to the severe falls in demand during the 1930s Depression by cutting hours of work. This provided an important means of reducing labour input and marginal labour costs, through movements from overtime to short-time schedules. Nominal wages dropped relatively modestly while real wages continued to rise throughout the trough years of the recession. Empirical work is based on cell data from a panel of 28 local labour markets for the period 1926-38. The data dichotomise between skilled fitters and unskilled labourers and between time-rate and piece-rate workers. The findings have interesting implications for Phillips curve and wage curve studies.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 38 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 478-502

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:38:y:2001:i:4:p:478-502
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. BALAND, Jean-Marie & DREZE, Jean & LERUTH, Luc, 1998. "Daily wages and piece rates in agrarian economies," CORE Discussion Papers 1998058, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  15. Dimsdale, N H & Nickell, Stephen J & Horsewood, N, 1989. "Real Wages and Unemployment in Britain during the 1930s," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 271-292, June.
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