Did unemployed workers choose not to work in interwar Britain? Evidence from the voices of unemployed workers
MetadataShow full item record
This paper revisits the controversy over whether unemployed workers in interwar Britain chose not to work because unemployment benefits were too generous. Economists have generally neglected the actual expressions of unemployed workers on the subject, while focusing rather narrowly on the economic aspects of work. The paper takes seriously the voices of unemployed workers, providing economists with a historian's perspective. Unemployment brought workers isolation, family breakdowns, anxiety-ridden idleness, shame and hardship for spouses. Their testimonies render implausible the argument that they voluntarily elected not to work. The evidence emphasises that work meant more than a source of income: it had positive social aspects. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Campbell, I.; Parkinson, S.; Wood, Gavin (2014)Time-related underemployment, hereafter just called underemployment, can be broadlyunderstood as employment that is insufficient in terms of the number of hours of paid work (Campbell et al. 2013, pp.9–11, 16–18, 67–70; ...
Storer, Christine; Connell, Julia (2013)This article examines skill and labour shortages within rural agricultural industries in Western Australia. It draws on primary and secondary data, including 600 survey respondents in the sector. It is determined that ...
Gaston, Noel; Rajaguru, G. (2008)We provide a simple model to illustrate that tax and redistributive considerations as well as increasing globalization may lead workers unexposed to the threat of unemployment to prefer government spending on active labour ...