War and Pestilence as Labor Market Shocks: U.S. Manufacturing Wage Growth 1914-1919

FRB of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2006-018

34 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2007

See all articles by Thomas A. Garrett

Thomas A. Garrett

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Research Division

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Influenza Pandemic, World War I, Wages, Manufacturing, Labor Supply

JEL Classification: N62, N32, N92, I12

Suggested Citation

Garrett, Thomas A., War and Pestilence as Labor Market Shocks: U.S. Manufacturing Wage Growth 1914-1919 (October 2007). FRB of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2006-018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024278 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1024278

Thomas A. Garrett (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Research Division ( email )

411 Locust St
Saint Louis, MO 63011
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
69
Abstract Views
1,064
rank
415,772
PlumX Metrics