Wages, Productivity, and Work Intensity in the Great Depression

24 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2002  

Julia Darby

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow - Strathclyde Business School - Department of Economics

Robert A. Hart

University of Stirling - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: August 2002

Abstract

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 goal of restoring full 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 an efficient bargaining model that embraces employment, hours of work and work intensity.

Keywords: Wages, Productivity, Work Intensity, Great Depression

JEL Classification: J24, J31, N62

Suggested Citation

Darby, Julia and Hart, Robert A., Wages, Productivity, and Work Intensity in the Great Depression (August 2002). IZA Discussion Paper No. 543. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=323597

Julia Darby

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow - Strathclyde Business School - Department of Economics ( email )

Sir William Duncan Building
130 Rottenrow
Glasgow, G4 0GE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.strath.ac.uk/julia/

Robert A. Hart (Contact Author)

University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom
+44 1786 467 471 (Phone)
+44 1786 467 469 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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