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

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

32 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2006

See all articles by Thomas A. Garrett

Thomas A. Garrett

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Research Division

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

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.

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: Manufacturing Wage Growth 1914-1919 (March 2006). FRB of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2006-018A, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=893615 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.893615

Thomas A. Garrett (Contact Author)

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

411 Locust St
Saint Louis, MO 63011
United States

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