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Academics - Economics Faculty & Staff

Academics - Economics Faculty & Staff

Joyce Burnette

Professor of Economics, John H. Schroeder Interdisciplinary Chair in Economics


Baxter Hall 130
Curriculum vitae

Picture of Burnette, Joyce

Joyce Burnette joined the Wabash faculty in 1996.  She is an economic historian who focuses on the role of women in the labor market.  She received her PhD from Northwestern University, under Joel Mokyr, in 1994.  She spent her most recent sabbatical visiting in the Economic History department at Lund University, Sweden.


B.A., Valparaiso University, 1989
Ph.D in Economics, Northwestern University, 1994



I generally teach Labor Economics and Game Theory in the spring. I teach economic history when I can, and have taught a course on the Great Depression a number of times. I often teach the Senior Seminar whose topic varies but has included labor market discrimination, labor supply, and immigration. I have also taught Economic and Political Development, and a freshman tutorial focused on food.


My 2008 book, Gender, Work, and Wages in Industrial Revolution Britain, argues that, since strength was important in many occupations, lower wages do not necessarily imply discrimination.  In the less-skilled and more competitive portions of the labor market women were sorted into occupations where strength mattered the least and were paid market wages that matched their productivity. Women did face discriminatory barriers imposed by union and professions, and these barriers appeared in less competitive portions of the labor market.  I have collected an extensive sample of English farm accounts (1740-1850), and I have used this sample to examine differences in employment and wages by gender.  I have also worked on turn-of-the-century Swedish manufacturing workers with Maria Stanfors of Lund University, and on US factory workers.


"Why We Should not Measure Labor Force Participation before the Twentieth Century"

Social Science History Conference, Pheonix, Nov. 2018; European Social Science History Conference, Belfast, April 2018

 “Is It Who You Are, Where You Work, or Whith Whome You Work that Matters for Earnings?  Gender and Peer Effects among Late Nineteenth-Century Industrial Workers” (with Maria Stanfors)

Univ. of Bristol, May 2018; Univ. of Southern Denmark, Feb. 2018, London School of Economics, Jan. 2018; Nuffield College, Oxford, Jan. 2018

"Gender differences in Absenteeism in Nineteenth-Century US Manufacturing"

Lund University, Feb. 2018


With Maria Stanfors, "Understanding the Gender Gap Further: The Case of Turn-of-the-Century Swedish Compositors," Journal of Economic History, forthcoming.

"Gender in Economic History" in Handbook of Cliometrics, 2d ed., Claude Diebolt and Mike Haupert, eds., Springer, 2019.

"Seasonal Patterns of Agricultural Day-Labour at Eight English Farms, 1835-1844" in John Hatcher and Judy Stephenson, eds., Seven Centuries of Unreal Wages, Palgrave, 2018.


First Monograph Prize, Economic History Society, 2010.