Rise and Fall of the Contract System in the American Iron and Steel Industry
Armando Siciliano Editore - Collana di Economia, n.27
32 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2012 Last revised: 26 Dec 2013
Date Written: 2008
This paper investigates the historical accounts of the ineffectiveness of the contract system in the US iron and steel industry during the second half of the nineteenth-century. The high rate of technological innovation, along with the extensive bargaining power of the old industrial crafts, made output-related pay so costly as to be unsustainable in the long run. A sliding scale, together with piece-rate pay, did nothing but exacerbate the labour problem.
Keywords: piece-rate pay, subcontracting, technological change, iron and steel industry
JEL Classification: J22, J33, J51, N31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation