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: 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E. Room 2860, Washington, D. C. 20212|
Phone: (202) 606-5900
Fax: (202) 606-7890
Web page: http://www.bls.gov
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- repec:spr:pharme:v:22:y:2004:i:4:p:225-244 is not listed on IDEAS
- Francesco Caselli, 1999. "Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-102, March.
- N/A, 1974. "The Origins of Job Structures in the Steel Industry," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 6(2), pages 113-173, July.
- 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.
- Peter B. Meyer, 2003. "Episodes of Collective Invention," Working Papers 368, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Rubinstein, Y. & Tsiddon, D., 1998.
"Coping with Technological Progress: the Role of Ability in Making Inequality so Persistent,"
27-98, Tel Aviv.
- 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.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000.
"Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 1998. "Ability Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," Working Papers 98-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1997. "Technological Change and Wages: An Inter-Industry Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael J. Cooper, 2001. "A Rose.com by Any Other Name," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2371-2388, December.
- 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.
- Rosenberg,Nathan, 1994.
"Exploring the Black Box,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521459556, November.
- Jeremy Greenwood, 1999.
"The Third Industrial Revolution,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 2-12.
- Litterer, Joseph A., 1961. "Systematic Management: The Search for Order and Integration," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(04), pages 461-476, December.
- 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.
- Nathan Rosenberg, 1996. "Uncertainty and technological change," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 40(Jun), pages 91-125.
- Allen, Robert C., 1983. "Collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
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.