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War and pestilence as labor market shocks: manufacturing wage growth 1914-1919

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  • Thomas A. Garrett

Abstract

This paper explores the effect of mortalities from the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic and World War I on real wage growth in the manufacturing sectors of U.S. states from 1914 to 1919. The general hypothesis is that both events caused a significant decrease in the supply of manufacturing labor, thereby initially increasing the marginal product of labor and thus wages. The empirical results reveal that influenza mortalities led to a greater overall increase in real manufacturing wage growth, but the marginal effect on wage growth from an additional World War I combat mortality was greater than that from the influenza pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas A. Garrett, 2006. "War and pestilence as labor market shocks: manufacturing wage growth 1914-1919," Working Papers 2006-018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2006-018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Pichler, Stefan, 2012. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? The impact of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic on economic performance in Sweden," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 211, Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Law and Economics.
    2. Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Pichler, Stefan, 2014. "The impact of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic on economic performance in Sweden," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-19.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wages; Manufacturing industries;

    JEL classification:

    • N62 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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