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The Wage and the Length of the Work Day: From the 1890s to 1991

  • Costa, Dora L

I investigate how the relationship between the wage and the length of the work day has changed since the 1890s among prime-aged men and women. I find that across wage deciles, within wage deciles, and within industry and occupation groups, the most highly paid worked fewer hours than the lowest paid in the 1890s but that by 1973 differences in hours worked were small and by 1991 the highest paid worked the longest day. I examine several explanations for the compression in the length of the work day and investigate the implications of hours inequality for earnings inequality. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 156-81

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:1:p:156-81
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. Barry Eichengreen, 1987. "The impact of late nineteenth-century unions on labor earnings and hours: Iowa in 1894," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(4), pages 501-515, July.
  2. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1985. "Tied Wage-Hours Offers and the Endogeneity of Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 405-10, August.
  3. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 5459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dora L. Costa, 1997. "Less of a Luxury: The Rise of Recreation since 1888," NBER Working Papers 6054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Goldin, Claudia, 1988. "Maximum Hours Legislation and Female Employment: A Reassessment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 189-205, February.
  6. Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1991. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid- Century," NBER Working Papers 3817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Barzel, Yoram & McDonald, Richard J, 1973. "Assets, Subsistence, and The Supply Curve of Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(4), pages 621-33, September.
  8. Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman, 1990. "How Long Was the Workday in 1880?," NBER Historical Working Papers 0015, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Costa, Dora L, 1995. "Pensions and Retirement: Evidence from Union Army Veterans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 297-319, May.
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