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Employer Recruitment and the Integration of Industrial Labor Markets 1870-1914

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  • Joshua L. Rosenbloom

Abstract

The substantial shifts in the sectoral and geographic location of economic activity that took place in the late nineteenth-century United States required the reallocation of large quantities of labor. This paper examines the response of labor market institutions to the challenges of unbalanced growth. Based on previously unexploited descriptive evidence from the reports of the Immigration Commission it argues that employer recruitment was crucial to the adjustment of labor markets to shifting patterns of supply and demand. Because individual employers could capture only a fraction of the benefits of recruitment, however, investment in this activity may have been less than would have been socially optimal, suggesting a possible explanation for the persistence of large geographic wage differentials.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua L. Rosenbloom, 1994. "Employer Recruitment and the Integration of Industrial Labor Markets 1870-1914," NBER Historical Working Papers 0053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0053 Note: DAE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 1990. "Labor Market Institutions and the Geographic Integration of Labor Markets in the Late Nineteenth-Century United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(02), pages 440-441, June.
    2. Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 1990. "One Market or Many? Labor Market Integration in the Late Nineteenth-Century United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(01), pages 85-107, March.
    3. Dunlevy, James A, 1980. "Nineteenth-Century European Immigration to the United States: Intended versus Lifetime Settlement Patterns," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 77-90, October.
    4. Snowden, Kenneth A., 1987. "Mortgage Rates and American Capital Market Development in the Late Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(03), pages 671-691, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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