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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Regional Labour Market Integration In England And Wales, 1850-1913, George R. Boyer, Timothy J. Hatton Dec 2015

Regional Labour Market Integration In England And Wales, 1850-1913, George R. Boyer, Timothy J. Hatton

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] This chapter examines the integration of labour markets within the rural and urban sectors of England and Wales during the second half of the nineteenth century. Although there is a large literature on internal migration and emigration in Victorian Britain, historians typically have focused on the direction and causes of migration rather than on its consequences for the labour market. Broadly speaking, the literature has found that workers did indeed migrate towards better wage-earning opportunities, that most moves were short-distance moves, and that once certain patterns of migration were established they often persisted. The studies leave the strong impression ...


Labor Economics, George R. Boyer, Robert Smith Feb 2012

Labor Economics, George R. Boyer, Robert Smith

George R. Boyer

The authors hypothesize that most labor economists "sooner or later had to incorporate at least the appearance of institutional concerns in their papers to avoid indigestion whenever lunching with colleagues outside the field of economics" They add: "If the new interests of modern labor economics are in fact driven by the imperatives of science, then the institutionalist and the neoclassical approaches may well synthesize".


The Union Wage Effect In Late Nineteenth Century Britain, Timothy J. Hatton, George R. Boyer, Roy E. Bailey Feb 2012

The Union Wage Effect In Late Nineteenth Century Britain, Timothy J. Hatton, George R. Boyer, Roy E. Bailey

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] This paper offers an historical dimension to the impact of trade unions on earnings by estimating the union wage effect in Britain in 1889-90 using data from the US Commissioner of Labor survey conducted at that time. The determinants of union status are also investigated in terms of a probit estimation using individual characteristics which may be correlated with union membership. The results of this first step are used in the computation of selectivity corrected estimates of the union wage effect. It is found that the effect of union membership on earnings at this time was of the order ...


Poor Relief, Informal Assistance, And Short Time During The Lancashire Cotton Famine, George R. Boyer Feb 2012

Poor Relief, Informal Assistance, And Short Time During The Lancashire Cotton Famine, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] This paper presents new evidence concerning the importance of poor relief as a source of income assistance for unemployed operatives during the Lancashire cotton famine. My comparison of weekly data on the number of relief recipients in 23 distressed poor law unions with estimates of weekly cotton consumption for the period November 1861 to December 1862 suggests that the average length of time between becoming unemployed and receiving poor relief was less than 2 months. This result is shown to be consistent with available evidence on working class saving. Given the meager amount of informal assistance available to them ...


The Influence Of London On Labor Markets In Southern England, 1830-1914, George R. Boyer Feb 2012

The Influence Of London On Labor Markets In Southern England, 1830-1914, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] Historians have long acknowledged that London, because of its enormous size and rapidly growing demand for labor, acted as a powerful magnet for migrants from throughout southern England. However, while there is a large literature documenting the flow of migrants to London, there have been surprisingly few attempts to determine the consequences of this migration for southern labor markets. This article attempts to redress the imbalance in the literature by examining the influence of London on agricultural labor markets during the nineteenth century. In particular, the article examines the effect of distance from London on wage rates in southern ...


Migration And Labour Market Integration In Late Nineteenth-Century England And Wales, George R. Boyer Feb 2012

Migration And Labour Market Integration In Late Nineteenth-Century England And Wales, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] There is a long and well established tradition of studies analysing the pattern and causes of internal migration and assessing the degree of labour market integration in late nineteenth-century Britain. Some studies document the flows of migrants from one area to another and describe migrant characteristics and the directions of the predominant streams of migration. Others analyse the determinants of gross or net migration flows at the region or county level. The questions implicit in these studies are: How mobile was the labour force? What were the major factors which determined individual decisions to migrate? How are these factors ...


[Review Of The Book British Labour History, 1815-1914], George R. Boyer Jan 2012

[Review Of The Book British Labour History, 1815-1914], George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] One of the most important issues in economic history is the effect of industrialization on workers' living standards and on the development of labor movements and class consciousness. Because Great Britain was the first nation to industrialize, the British workers have been a favorite topic among economic and social historians. Until now, however, there have been no textbooks covering all aspects of British labor history. E. H. Hunt has admirably filled this gap. His book deals with practically every topic of interest concerning British workers from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the beginning of World War I.


[Review Of The Book The Idea Of Poverty: England In The Early Industrial Age], George R. Boyer Jan 2012

[Review Of The Book The Idea Of Poverty: England In The Early Industrial Age], George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] One must have some knowledge of a society's conception of poverty in order to understand the existence of differing methods of poor relief over time and place. In The Idea of Poverty, Gertrude Himmelfarb presents a detailed account of England's poverty problem during the years 1750 to 1850 as seen by contemporary English economists, politicians, journalists, and novelists. She attempts to determine why the image of poverty, and of the poor, changed over those years and how the popular image of the poor influenced society's methods of relieving poverty. The result is a book that anyone ...


[Review Of The Book Interwar Unemployment In International Perspective], George R. Boyer Jan 2012

[Review Of The Book Interwar Unemployment In International Perspective], George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] The book redresses two imbalances in the recent literature on interwar unemployment: its almost exclusive focus on the United States and Britain, and its predominantly macroeconomic nature. To achieve these goals, the editors encouraged the authors of the country studies to address a set of microeconomic issues, including the extent to which the incidence and duration of unemployment varied across economic and demographic groups, and the effect of unemployment on labor force participation and poverty. Two macroeconomic issues also are addressed in several of the papers: the effects of real wages and of unemployment insurance on unemployment. These two ...


Editor's Introduction (Review Symposium On Converging Divergences: Worldwide Changes In Employment Systems), George R. Boyer Jan 2012

Editor's Introduction (Review Symposium On Converging Divergences: Worldwide Changes In Employment Systems), George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] During the past two decades there have been significant changes in employment systems across industrialized countries. Converging Divergences: Worldwide Changes in Employment Systems, by Harry C. Katz and Owen Darbishire, examines changes since 1980 in employment practices in seven industrialized countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and Italy—with a focus on the automotive and telecommunications industries. Katz and Darbishire find that variations in employment patterns within these countries have been increasing over the past two decades. The increase in variation is not simply a result of a decline in union strength in some ...


Comments On Geraghty, Márquez, And Vizcarra, George R. Boyer Jan 2012

Comments On Geraghty, Márquez, And Vizcarra, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

Professor Boyer reviews and comments upon the three dissertations that were finalists for the Alexander Gerschenkron Prize in 2002.


[Review Of The Book Growing Public: Social Spending And Economic Growth Since The Eighteenth Century], George R. Boyer Jan 2012

[Review Of The Book Growing Public: Social Spending And Economic Growth Since The Eighteenth Century], George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] Lindert’s discussion of the costs and benefits of the welfare state is only one part, albeit the most eye-catching part, of this wide-ranging work in comparative economic history. Volume 1, written for non-specialists, presents “The Story”; it is tailor-made for upper-level undergraduate courses in economic and social history, public policy, and welfare economics. Volume 2 presents “Further Evidence,” including the regression results that underlie the findings presented in the first volume, and eighty pages of appendices. Graduate students and scholars studying the welfare state will want to read this volume in conjunction with Volume 1. For those who ...


The Economic Role Of The English Poor Law, 1780-1834, George R. Boyer Jan 2012

The Economic Role Of The English Poor Law, 1780-1834, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] Over the 85-year period from 1748/50 to 1832/34, real per capita expenditures on poor relief increased at an average rate of approximately 1 percent per year. There were also important changes in the administration of relief with respect to able-bodied laborers during the period. Policies providing relief outside of workhouses to unemployed and under-employed able-bodied laborers became widespread during the 1770s and 1780s in the grain-producing South and East of England. The so-called Speenhamland system of outdoor relief flourished until 1834, when it was abolished by the Poor Law Amendment Act. The aim of the thesis is ...


The Evolution Of Unemployment Relief In Great Britain, George R. Boyer Dec 2011

The Evolution Of Unemployment Relief In Great Britain, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] Relatively little has been written about unemployment relief during the period between the passage of the Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834 and the adoption of national unemployment insurance in 1911. This study is an attempt to help fill the gap in the literature. It examines the changing roles played by poor relief, private charity, trade unions, and public employment in the lives of the urban unemployed during cyclical downturns from 1834 to 1911. The story that emerges offers no support for a "Whig theory of welfare." Public assistance for the unemployed was more generous, and more certain, from ...


The Development Of The Neoclassical Tradition In Labor Economics, George R. Boyer, Robert S. Smith Dec 2011

The Development Of The Neoclassical Tradition In Labor Economics, George R. Boyer, Robert S. Smith

George R. Boyer

This essay on labor economics examines neoclassical theory's rise to ascendancy following the second World War, with a secondary focus on the relative decline but continued influence of institutionalist economic theory. The authors describe the evolution of institutional and neoclassical theory from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, examine some early intellectual debates between the two camps, briefly describe the work of neoclassical labor economics pioneers, and look at major developments over the past 30 years. They argue that neoclassical economists' increasing intellectual breadth and influence in public policy have led them to pay closer attention to issues that ...


The Historical Background Of The Communist Manifesto, George R. Boyer Dec 2011

The Historical Background Of The Communist Manifesto, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] The Manifesto of the Communist Party, published 150 years ago in London in February 1848, is one of the most influential and widely-read documents of the past two centuries. The historian A. J. P. Taylor (1967, p. 7) has called it a "holy book," and contends that because of it, "everyone thinks differently about politics and society." And yet, despite its enormous influence in the 20th century, the Manifesto is very much a period piece, a document of what was called the "hungry" 1840s. It is hard to imagine it being written in any other decade of the 19th ...


Malthus Was Right After All: Poor Relief And Birth Rates In Southeastern England, George R. Boyer Dec 2011

Malthus Was Right After All: Poor Relief And Birth Rates In Southeastern England, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

The payment of child allowances to laborers with large families was widespread in early nineteenth-century England. This paper tests Thomas Malthus's hypothesis that child allowances caused the birth rate to increase. A cross-sectional regression model is estimated to explain variations in birth rates across parishes in 1826-30. Birth rates are found to be related to child allowances, income, and the availability of housing, as Malthus contended. The paper concludes by examining the role played by the adoption of child allowances after 1795 in the fertility increase of the early nineteenth century.


The Poor Law, Migration, And Economic Growth, George R. Boyer Dec 2011

The Poor Law, Migration, And Economic Growth, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

The loss to the English economy caused by decreased migration resulting from relief payments to agricultural laborers is estimated. I conclude that, at worst, the Poor Law had a small negative impact on national product. If poor relief and wages were substitutes, the Poor Law may have had a positive impact on capital formation and economic growth.


What Did Unions Do In Nineteenth-Century Britain?, George R. Boyer Dec 2011

What Did Unions Do In Nineteenth-Century Britain?, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

The article examines the development of the insurance function of trade unions. It analyzes how such policies worked, and why union benefit packages differed across occupations. It also addresses the impact of insurance policies on union organization. Insurance benefits increased the ability of unions to attract and retain members. They did not, however, significantly increase the power of union leaders relative to employers or union rank and file.


Unemployment And The Uk Labour Market Before, During And After The Golden Age, Timothy J. Hatton, George R. Boyer Dec 2011

Unemployment And The Uk Labour Market Before, During And After The Golden Age, Timothy J. Hatton, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

During the ‘golden age’ of the 1950s and 1960s unemployment in Britain averaged 2 per cent. This was far lower than ever before or since and a number of hypotheses have been put forward to account for this unique period in labour market history. But there has been little attempt to isolate precisely how the determinants of wage setting and unemployment differed before, during and after the golden age. We estimate a two-equation model over the whole period from 1872 to 1999 using a newly constructed set of long-run labour market data. We find that the structure of real wage ...


Labour Migration In Southern And Eastern England, 1861-1901, George R. Boyer Dec 2011

Labour Migration In Southern And Eastern England, 1861-1901, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

This paper examines the determinants of migration from 19 southern counties to six major destinations in England and Wales from 1861-70 to 1891-1900. I find that, while the size of origin-destination wage gaps and the distance between origin and destination areas were important determinants of migration flows, as expected, migration was also strongly influenced by the number of previous migrants from an origin county living in a destination. The assistance provided by previous migrants to friends and relatives contemplating migration led to a perpetuation of earlier migration patterns, and helps to explain the continued dominance of London as a destination ...


New Estimates Of British Unemployment, 1870-1913, George R. Boyer, Timothy J. Hatton Dec 2011

New Estimates Of British Unemployment, 1870-1913, George R. Boyer, Timothy J. Hatton

George R. Boyer

We present new estimates of the British industrial unemployment rate for 1870- 1913, which improve on the Board of Trade's prior estimates. We use similar sources, but our series includes additional industrial sectors, allows for short-time working, and aggregates the various sectors using appropriate labor-force weights from the census. The resulting index suggests a rate of industrial unemployment that was generally higher, but less volatile, than the board's index. We then adjust our series to an economywide basis, and construct a consistent time series of overall unemployment for 1870-1999.