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The effect of wage-payment reform on workers’ labor supply and welfare

by Warren, Ronald S., Jr., Redmount, Esther, Snow, Arthur

Abstract

We analyze the effects of a largely ignored 1885 legislative reform in Massachusetts requiring that firms provide workers the option of receiving weekly wage payments. Using an inter-temporal model of deferred compensation, we derive conditions on elasticities of labor supply that determine the effects of the reform on workers’ effective wage and utility. We then examine empirically the effects of the reform, using weekly data on mill workers in Lowell. Given the implications of our theoretical analysis, the empirical findings of positive wage and reform elasticities imply that the switch to weekly payment increased workers’ effective wage and well-being.

Note

Acquired as PDF from Colorado College Department of Economics and Business. Converted to PDF/A1.b using Adobe Acrobat Professional.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

Acquired as PDF from Colorado College Department of Economics and Business. Converted to PDF/A1.b using Adobe Acrobat Professional.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply. Contact the author for permission to publish.
Publisher
None
PID
coccc:2162
Digital Origin
born digital
Extent
27 pages : illustrations