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.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|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 labour market; Part I. Labour Market Failure?: 2. Custom against the market: the early labour market; 3. Principals and agents: the labour market into the second generation; 4. Who's minding the mill? The supervision problem; Part II. The Economics of Piece-Rate Bargaining: 5. The fair wage model; Part III. How Did Labour Markets Really Work?: 6. Fair and unfair wages: 1825-50; 7. Short hours and seniority in the 'hungry 'forties'; 8. Rules and standards: wage lists in Lancashire; Part IV. Conclusion: 9. More lessons from the cotton mills; Notes; Bibliography; Index.