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The Impact of Female Employment on Male Wages and Careers: Evidence from the English Banking Industry, 1890-1941

  • Seltzer, Andrew


    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

The late 19th and early 20th century British labour market experienced an influx of female clerical workers. Employers argued that female employment increased opportunities for men to advance; however, most male clerks regarded this expansion of the labour supply as a threat to their pay and status. This paper examines the effects of female employment on male clerks using data from Williams Deacon's Bank covering a period 25 years prior and 25 years subsequent to the initial employment of women. It is shown that within position women were substitutes for men, although the degree of substitutability was less for older men than for juniors. In addition, the employment of women in routine positions allowed the Bank to expand its branch network, creating new higher-level positions, which were almost always filled by men.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6663.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic History Review, 66, 4 (2013), 1039–1062.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6663
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521880633 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Andrew Seltzer, 2010. "Salaries and promotion opportunities in the English banking industry, 1890-1936," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(5), pages 737-759.
  3. Seltzer, Andrew J., 2011. "Female salaries and careers in British banking, 1915–41," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 461-477.
  4. Seltzer, Andrew, 2010. "Did firms cut nominal wages in a deflationary environment?: Micro-level evidence from the late 19th and early 20th century banking industry," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 112-125, January.
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