The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Sliding Scales (Wages)

  • Christopher Hanes
Reference work entry


Theories of long-term employment contracts imply strong private incentives for employers and employees to link wages to product prices, quite apart from the external benefits emphasized by Weitzman (1984), whether or not wages are also indexed to other variables such as consumption goods’ prices. Such arrangements have been extremely rare since the Second World War, but many schemes linking wage rates to product prices, referred to generally as ‘sliding scales’, were observed in Britain and the United States from the 1860s to the 1930s (Howard 1920; Munro 1885–6; Palgrave 1896; Poole 1938; US Industrial Commission 1901, pp. 89–98, 135–6). Recent studies of historical sliding scales include Greenfield (1960), Treble (1987), South (1990), and Hanes (2007).


Labour market contracts Sliding scales 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Hanes
    • 1
  1. 1.