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Escape from the Market: Negotiating Work in Lancashire

Overview

This book questions the conventional wisdom that in the heyday of laisez-faire capitalism wages were set by thorough going competition. Drawing on the experience of a key group of workers during industrialisation, this book shows that even in the absence of trade unions, minimum wage legislation or unemployment insurance, wages do not always move with changes in the demand for and supply of labour. Workers and firms have good reasons to fix wages independently of market ...
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Overview

This book questions the conventional wisdom that in the heyday of laisez-faire capitalism wages were set by thorough going competition. Drawing on the experience of a key group of workers during industrialisation, this book shows that even in the absence of trade unions, minimum wage legislation or unemployment insurance, wages do not always move with changes in the demand for and supply of labour. Workers and firms have good reasons to fix wages independently of market fluctuations.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In Escape From the Market, Michael Huberman brings together a great deal of the recent economic literature on labor markets and combines it with recent work on the social history of the Lancaster textile industry." Susan Wolcott, H-Net Reviews

"Michael Huberman refines and elaborates upon his previous research on work relationships in early Victorian Lancashire. He elegantly combines history, economic history, economic theory, and institutional analysis to provide a view of work arrangements in cotton textile manufacturing that is more rich and complex than other writers have achieved. The sophistication and objectivity of his analysis provide a model for scholars." L. Lynne Kiesling, Jrnl of Eco Hist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521142663
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/10/2010
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Preface
Glossary
List of abbreviations
1 Introduction: the myth of the Lancashire labor market 1
2 Custom against the market: the early labor market 17
3 Principals and agents: the labor market into the second generation 33
4 Who's minding the mill? The supervision problem 49
5 The fair wage model 63
6 Fair and unfair wages: 1825-1850 81
7 Short hours and seniority in the "hungry 'forties" 110
8 Rules and standards: wage lists in Lancashire 132
9 More lessons from the cotton mills 151
Notes 161
Bibliography 199
Index 219
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