This setting lets you change the way you view articles. You can choose to have articles open in a dialog window, a new tab, or directly in the same window.
Open in Dialog
Open in New Tab
Open in same window

American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 1 (February 2013)

Expand

Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter

Explore:

AER - All Issues

AER Forthcoming Articles

Coercive Contract Enforcement: Law and the Labor Market in Nineteenth Century Industrial Britain

Article Citation

Naidu, Suresh, and Noam Yuchtman. 2013. "Coercive Contract Enforcement: Law and the Labor Market in Nineteenth Century Industrial Britain." American Economic Review, 103(1): 107-44.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.1.107

Abstract

British Master and Servant law made employee contract breach a criminal offense until 1875. We develop a contracting model generating equilibrium contract breach and prosecutions, then exploit exogenous changes in output prices to examine the effects of labor demand shocks on prosecutions. Positive shocks in the textile, iron, and coal industries increased prosecutions. Following the abolition of criminal sanctions, wages differentially rose in counties that had experienced more prosecutions, and wages responded more to labor demand shocks. Coercive contract enforcement was applied in industrial Britain; restricted mobility allowed workers to commit to risk-sharing contracts with lower, but less volatile, wages. (JEL J31, J41, K12, K31, N33, N43)

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article

Additional Materials

Download Data Set (1.73 MB) | Online Appendix (1.05 MB)

Authors

Naidu, Suresh (Columbia U)
Yuchtman, Noam (U CA, Berkeley)

JEL Classifications

J31: Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
J41: Labor Contracts
K12: Contract Law
K31: Labor Law
N33: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: Europe: Pre-1913
N43: Economic History: Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation: Europe: Pre-1913


American Economic Review


Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)

Explore:

AER - All Issues

AER - Forthcoming Articles

Virtual Field Journals


AEA Member Login:


AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us