Work-Sharing During the Great Depression: Did the President's Reemployment Agreement Promote Reemployment?

26 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2011

See all articles by Jason E. Taylor

Jason E. Taylor

University of Virginia - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 20, 2009

Abstract

The President's Reemployment Agreement (PRA) of 1933 directed firms to reduce workweeks during the Great Depression so existing jobs could be spread into additional employment opportunities. Similar work-sharing policies have recently been implemented across Europe in hopes of reducing unemployment. I find that, ceteris paribus, the work-sharing aspects of the PRA created nearly 2.5 million new employment opportunities in around four months. However, the programme also required firms to raise hourly wage rates, offsetting close to half of these gains. Furthermore, most of the remaining employment gains were wiped out after cartel-oriented industry-specific codes of fair competition supplanted the PRA.

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Jason E., Work-Sharing During the Great Depression: Did the President's Reemployment Agreement Promote Reemployment? (May 20, 2009). Economica, Vol. 78, No. 309, pp. 133-158, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1746620 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2009.00804.x

Jason E. Taylor (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States

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