The Farm-Nonfarm Wage Gap in the Antebellum United States: Evidence fromthe 1850 and 1860 Censuses of Social Statistics
Sectoral wage gaps for workers of comparable skill are central to issues in economic development and economic history. This paper presents new archival evidence on the farm-nonfarm wage gap for the United States just prior to the American Civil War. Measured at the level of local labor markets, the wage gaps are small and not very persistent over time. Aggregated to reflect the geographic distribution of farm and nonfarm labor, the gaps are larger than previously thought. I also show that investment in manufacturing capital between 1850 and 1860 responded to labor market inefficiencies indicated by the gaps: counties with relatively low farm wages experienced above-average investment.
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- Robert A. Margo, 1992.
"Wages and Prices during the Antebellum Period: A Survey and New Evidence,"
in: American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War, pages 173-216
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert A. Margo, 1990. "Wages and Prices During the Antebellum Period: A Survey and New Evidence," NBER Historical Working Papers 0019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas Weiss, 1989. "Economic Growth Before 1860: Revised Conjectures," NBER Historical Working Papers 0007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Robert A. Margo, 1998.
"Labor Market Integration Before the Civil War,"
NBER Working Papers
6643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Sicsic, Pierre, 1992. "City-Farm Wage Gaps in Late Nineteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(03), pages 675-695, September.
- Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1991. "Wage gaps between farm and city: Michigan in the 1890s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 381-408, October.
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