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Faculty of Economics

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Solomou, S. N. and Weale, M.

Unemployment and real wages in the Great Depression

National Institute Economic Review

Vol. 214 no. 1 pp. R51-R61 (2010)

Abstract: This article uses a dataset covering ten advanced economies (Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States) to explore the role of real wages as an influence on employment and unemployment in the Great Depression and more generally in the 1920s and 1930s. The distinction between employment and unemployment movements during the Great Depression helps to clarify the role of supply side influences on the national heterogeneity of unemployment increases during the Great Depression. We find little general econometric evidence for the idea that movements in product wages had strong influences on employment either during the period of rising unemployment associated with the depression of the 1930s or more generally with the data which exist for the 1920s and 1930s.

JEL Codes: N12, N14, E24, E32

Author links: Solomos Solomou  

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