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Did Henry Ford Pay Efficiency Wages?

Daniel M. G. Raff and Lawrence H. Summers
Journal of Labor Economics
Vol. 5, No. 4, Part 2: The New Economics of Personnel (Oct., 1987), pp. S57-S86
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2534911
Page Count: 30
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Did Henry Ford Pay Efficiency Wages?
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Abstract

We examine Henry Ford's introduction of the five-dollar day in 1914 in an effort to evaluate the relevance of efficiency wage theories of wage and employment determination. We conclude that the Ford experience strongly supports the relevance of these theories. Ford's decision to increase wages dramatically is most plausibly the consequence of labor problems of the kind efficiency wage theorists stress. The structure of the five-dollar day program is consistent with the predictions of efficiency wage theories. There is vivid evidence that the introduction of the five-dollar day resulted in substantial queues for Ford jobs. Significant increases in Ford productivity and profits accompanied the new regime.

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