“Insufficient for the Support of a Family” - Wages on the Public Works During the Great Irish Famine
This paper presents a model of the money wage paid on the public works during the Irish Famine. The administrators are assumed to minimise a cost function that includes the divergence from the target as well as the increase compared to the wage that current information is available on. Estimation reveals a lag of four weeks existed between price changes occurring and adjustment to the money wages. Most seriously, the administrators systematically failed to take full account of the extent of price changes.
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