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

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  • Costa, Dora L

Abstract

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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  • Costa, Dora L, 2000. "The Wage and the Length of the Work Day: From the 1890s to 1991," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 156-181, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:1:p:156-81
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1992. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid-Century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 1-34.
    2. repec:hrv:faseco:30703979 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    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. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M, 1997. "Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 72-97, January.
    6. Weiss, Yoram, 1996. "Synchronization of Work Schedules," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 157-179, February.
    7. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1999. "The Timing of Work over Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 37-66, January.
    8. Dora L. Costa, 1998. "The Evolution of Retirement: An American Economic History, 1880-1990," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number cost98-1, January.
    9. Atack, Jeremy & Bateman, Fred, 1992. "How Long Was the Workday in 1880?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 129-160, March.
    10. Dora L. Costa, 1995. "Pensions and Retirement: Evidence from Union Army Veterans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 297-319.
    11. Angrist, Joshua D., 1991. "Grouped-data estimation and testing in simple labor-supply models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 243-266, February.
    12. 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 405-410, August.
    13. Barzel, Yoram & McDonald, Richard J, 1973. "Assets, Subsistence, and The Supply Curve of Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(4), pages 621-633, September.
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    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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