War and Pestilence as Labor Market Shocks: Manufacturing Wage Growth 1914-1919
Thomas A. Garrett
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Research Division
FRB of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2006-018A
This paper explores the effect of mortalities from the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic and World War I on real wage growth in the manufacturing sectors of U.S. states from 1914 to 1919. The general hypothesis is that both events caused a significant decrease in the supply of manufacturing labor, thereby initially increasing the marginal product of labor and thus wages. The empirical results reveal that influenza mortalities led to a greater overall increase in real manufacturing wage growth, but the marginal effect on wage growth from an additional World War I combat mortality was greater than that from the influenza pandemic.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Influenza Pandemic, World War I, Wages, Manufacturing, Labor Supply
JEL Classification: N62, N32, N92, I12working papers series
Date posted: April 15, 2006
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