Resource title

Technical Change and the Wage Structure During the Second Industrial Revolution : Evidence from the Merchant Marine, 1865-1912

Resource image

image for OpenScout resource :: Technical Change and the Wage Structure During the Second Industrial Revolution : Evidence from the Merchant Marine, 1865-1912

Resource description

Using a large, individual-level wage data set, we examine the impact of a major technological innovation – the steam engine – on skill demand and the wage structure in the merchant shipping industry. We find that the technical change created a new demand for skilled workers, the engineers, while destroying demand for workers with skills relevant only to sail. It had a deskilling effect on production work – able-bodied seamen (essentially, artisans) were replaced by unskilled engine room operatives. On the other hand, mates and ablebodied seamen employed on steam earned a premium relative to their counterparts on sail. A wholesale switch from sail to steam would increase the 90/10 wage ratio by 40%, with most of the rise in inequality coming from the creation of the engineer occupation.

Resource author

Aimee Chin, Chinhui Juhn, Peter Thompson

Resource publisher

Resource publish date

Resource language

eng

Resource content type

text/html

Resource resource URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10419/20551

Resource license

Adapt according to the presented license agreement and reference the original author.