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Hours of work and the Fair Labor Standards Act: A study of retail and wholesale trade, 1938û1950

  • Dora L. Costa

When the Fair Labor Standards Act was first implemented, a 5% reduction in the length of the standard workweek reduced by at least 18% the proportion of men and women working more than 40 hours per week. This analysis, based on monthly time series data from 1935-41 BLS surveys and individual-level data from the 1940 and 1950 censuses, shows that the Act's impact was larger in the South, where the proportion of men and women working over 40 hours fell by 23% and 43%, respectively, than in the North. Because of much lower pre-Act wages in the South than in the North, the minimum wage provisions of the Act were much more binding in the South, and southern employers were less able than northern employers to adjust straight-time wages in response to the Act's overtime provisions. (Author's abstract.)

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Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 53 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 648-664

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:53:y:2000:i:4:p:648-664
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  1. Goldin, Claudia, 1988. "Maximum Hours Legislation and Female Employment: A Reassessment," Scholarly Articles 2645471, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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