LSU Economics Professor Featured in Two Publications

01/06/2014 04:02 PM

BATON ROUGE – Briggs Depew, assistant professor in the Department of Economics, was recently published in both Labour Economics and Explorations in Economic History. Each of his articles was published in October 2013.

Depew’s article, “Elasticity of Supply to the Firm and the Business Cycle,” which appeared in Labour Economics, examines the idea that businesses possess a certain level of wage setting power. Depew points out, however, that these studies only capture a snapshot of the parameter. According to its conclusion, the paper provides insight into how reduced labor costs for a firm can balance out potential economic losses.

“The elasticity of supply to the firm potentially plays a large role in how wages and employment levels are determined within labor markets,” the conclusion states. “A pro-cyclical labor elasticity of supply to the firm allows firms to mark down wages during economic contractions and forces firms to pay more competitive wages during economic expansions. This is consistent with recent work establishing that wages are pro-cyclical, but under the scope of a new mechanism.”

Appearing in Explorations in Economic History, “New Deal or No Deal in the Cotton South: The Effect of the AAA on the Agricultural Labor Structure” examines the role of the Agricultural Adjustment Act in the rapid reduction of share tenants and sharecroppers. Results suggest that the AAA played a significant role in the displacement of black and white sharecroppers and black managing tenants even though it was a violation of AAA contracts for landlords to displace these workers.

According to its website, Labour Economics is devoted to publishing research in the field of labour economics both on the microeconomic and on the macroeconomic level, in a balanced mix of theory, empirical testing and policy applications. It gives due recognition to analysis and explanation of institutional arrangements of national labour markets and the impact of these institutions on labour market outcomes.

Explorations in Economic History provides broad coverage of the application of economic analysis to historical episodes. The journal has a tradition of innovative applications of theory and quantitative techniques, and it explores all aspects of economic change, all historical periods, all geographical locations, and all political and social systems. The journal includes papers by economists, economic historians, demographers, geographers, and sociologists.

The Department of Economics at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business offers courses that provide undergraduate and graduate students an intellectual challenge and strong analytic training and the tools to understand the economic and social problems faced both domestically and internationally. The faculty’s dedication to quality teaching and research is reflected by numerous awards received and peer-reviewed scholarly articles published in high-quality economic journals. The Journal of Labor Research and the Journal of Macroeconomics, two highly regarded academic journals, are edited within the department.

For more information, visit or call 225-578-5211.

Wendy  Marx 
E. J. Ourso College of Business

Posted on Monday, January 6, 2014