War and Pestilence as Labor Market Shocks: U.S. Manufacturing Wage Growth 1914-1919
Thomas A. Garrett
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Research Division
FRB of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2006-018
This paper explores the effect of mortalities from the 1918 influenza pandemic and World War I on wage growth in the manufacturing sectors of U.S. states and cities from 1914 to 1919. The hypothesis is that both events caused a decrease in manufacturing labor supply, thereby initially increasing the marginal product of labor and wages. The results reveal that states and cities having had greater influenza mortalities experienced greater wage growth roughly 2 to 3 percentage points for a 10 percent change in per capita mortalities. World War I combat mortalities also had a positive, but smaller, effect on wage growth.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: Influenza Pandemic, World War I, Wages, Manufacturing, Labor Supply
JEL Classification: N62, N32, N92, I12working papers series
Date posted: October 25, 2007
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