Turbulence, Inequality, and Cheap Steel
Iron and steel production grew dramatically in the U.S. when mass production technologies for steel were adopted in the 1860s. According to new measures presented in this study, earnings inequality rose within the iron and steel industries about 1870, perhaps because technological uncertainty led to gambles and turbulence. Firms made a variety of technological choices and began formal research and development. Professional associations and journals for mechanical engineers and chemists appeared. A national market replaced local markets for iron and steel. An industrial union replaced craft unions. As new ore sources and cheap water transportation were introduced, new plants along the Great Lakes outcompeted existing plants elsewhere. Because new iron and steel plants in the 1870s were larger than any U.S. plants had ever been, cost accounting appeared in the industry and grew in importance. Uncertainty explains the rise in inequality better than a skill bias account, according to which differences among individuals generate greater differences in wages. Analogous issues of inequality come up with respect to recent information technology.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 606-5900
Fax: (202) 606-7890
Web page: http://www.bls.gov
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rubinstein, Yona & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1999.
"Coping with Technological Progress: The Role of Ability in Making Inequality so Persistent,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2153, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Rubinstein, Y. & Tsiddon, D., 1998. "Coping with Technological Progress: the Role of Ability in Making Inequality so Persistent," Papers 27-98, Tel Aviv.
- Feinstein, Charles, 1988. "The Rise and Fall of the Williamson Curve," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(03), pages 699-729, September.
- Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1997.
"Technological Change and Wages: An Inter-Industry Analysis,"
NBER Working Papers
5941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1999. "Technological Change and Wages: An Interindustry Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 285-325, April.
- Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
- Michael J. Cooper, 2001. "A Rose.com by Any Other Name," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2371-2388, December.
- Francesco Caselli, 1999. "Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-102, March.
- Jeremy Greenwood, 1999.
"The Third Industrial Revolution,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 2-12.
- Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Robert A. Margo, 2000.
"Rising Wage Dispersion Across American Manufacturing Establishments, 1850-1880,"
NBER Working Papers
7932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Robert A. Margo, 2000. "Rising Wage Dispersion Across American Manufacturing Establishments, 1850-1880," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0036, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Allen, Robert C., 1983. "Collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
- Nathan Rosenberg, 1996. "Uncertainty and technological change," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 40(Jun), pages 91-125.
- Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
- Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 1998.
"Ability Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth,"
98-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, And Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497, May.
- Peter B. Meyer, 2003. "Episodes of Collective Invention," Working Papers 368, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec050010. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gregory Kurtzon)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.