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Wages, Productivity, and Work Intensity in the Great Depression

Darby J & Hart RA (2008) Wages, Productivity, and Work Intensity in the Great Depression, Southern Economic Journal, 75 (1), pp. 91-103.

We show that U.S. manufacturing wages during the Great Depression were importantly determined by forces on firms' intensive margins. Short-run changes in work intensity and the longer-term influence of potential productivity combined to influence real wage growth. By contrast, the external effects of unemployment and replacement rates had much less impact. Empirical work is undertaken against the background of a simple efficient bargaining model that embraces earnings, employment, hours of work and work intensity.

Wages; Productivity; Work Intensity; Great Depression

Subject headings
Depressions 1929; Industrial productivity History; Wages and labor productivity; United States Economic policy To 1933

AuthorsDarby Julia, Hart Robert A
Publication date07/2008
PublisherSouthern Economic Association
ISSN 0038-4038

Southern Economic Journal: Volume 75, Issue 1 (2008-07)

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