Journal Article

Factory discipline, health and externalities in the reduction of working time in nineteenth century France

Jérôme Bourdieu and Bénédicte Reynaud

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 4, issue 1, pages 93-118
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/SER/mwj033
Factory discipline, health and externalities in the reduction of working time in nineteenth century France

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The role played by health considerations in the reduction of working time in nineteenth century France has been largely overlooked. This paper sets out to demonstrate their importance. Section 2 documents health deterioration in the workplace. Section 3 argues that the worsening of living conditions is a negative externality suffered by workers. It arises out of ‘factory discipline’ and inter-firm competition. Section 4 highlights one of the necessary conditions for any reduction in this externality: the recognition by both employers and workers of the long-term health effects of the prevailing working conditions. Physicians played a decisive role in this change. Section 5 concludes.

Keywords: time allocation and labour supply; industrial health; externalities; JEL classification: J22, J28, H23

Journal Article.  9501 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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