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Salaries and promotion opportunities in the English banking industry, 1890-1936


  • Andrew Seltzer


This article re-examines the recent claim that the economic position of bank clerks was stable or improving during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Using rich data from Williams Deacon's Bank, Manchester and Liverpool District Bank, and Sheffield and Rotherham Bank, it is shown that real salaries were declining between the 1890s and World War I. For some groups of clerks, this decline was considerable. In addition, promotion to higher levels, such as branch manager, was becoming more difficult and the returns to promotion were declining. The economic position of banking staff only recovered in the 1920s and 1930s.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Seltzer, 2010. "Salaries and promotion opportunities in the English banking industry, 1890-1936," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(5), pages 737-759.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:52:y:2010:i:5:p:737-759 DOI: 10.1080/00076791003763193

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesca Sgobbi & Fátima Suleman, 2015. "The Value of Transferable Skills," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 62(4), pages 378-399, September.
    2. Seltzer, Andrew, 2012. "The Impact of Female Employment on Male Wages and Careers: Evidence from the English Banking Industry, 1890-1941," IZA Discussion Papers 6663, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    bank clerks; salary; promotion; England and Wales;


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