Working Paper No. 327 | March 2001

Part-year Operation in 19th Century American Manufacturing

Evidence from the 1870 and 1880 Censuses

Using unpublished data contained in samples from the manuscripts of the 1870 and 1880 censuses of manufactures—the earliest comprehensive estimates available—this study examines the extent and correlates of part-year manufacturing during the late 19th century. While the typical manufacturing plant operated full-time, part-year operation was not uncommon; its likelihood of this varied across industries and locations and with plant characteristics. Workers in such plants received somewhat higher monthly wages than those in firms that operated year round, compensating them somewhat for their losses and possible inconvenience.

Associated Program:
Jeremy Atack Fred Bateman Robert A. Margo

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