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Guide to the H. Gregg Lewis Papers, 1939-1990

Collection Overview

The papers of H. Gregg Lewis, an economist and university professor, span the period 1939 to 1990 with the bulk of the collection dating from the early 1980s. The collection is comprised chiefly of research and background materials for his book Union Relative Wage Effects: A Survey (University of Chicago Press, 1986), and of a collection of various academic articles (mostly working papers on various topics in labor economics). Materials represented in this particular collection include book manuscripts; drafts of papers (including unpublished articles); correspondence; lecture notes and syllabi for several classes taught at Chicago and for others at Duke; referee reports; administrative paperwork associated with the University of Chicago; and papers written by other economists. The primary subjects covered in this collection are: labor economics, trade unions and relative wage effects, University of Chicago Department of Economics, and Duke University Department of Economics. Important and/or substantial correspondence includes those with Gary Becker, Walter Oi, Albert Reese, Sherwin Rosen, and Finis Welch.

H. Gregg Lewis, one of the founders of modern labor economics, brought an unbiased, empirical approach to a field then dominated by the institutionalist school. According to Sherwin Rosen,

A meticulous researcher, Lewis trained his methodical, detail-oriented eye on topics that included the allocation of time between market and non-market activities, the allocation of labor among alternative uses, and the compensation of labor. It is the topic of the influence of trade unions on wage differentials, however, to which Lewis contributed the bulk of his published work. His first book, titled Unionism and Relative Wages in the United States: an Empirical Enquirywas published in 1963, and his second book, Union Relative Wage Effects: A Surveywas published in 1986.

Lewis was linked to the University of Chicago Department of Economics for over forty years, first as an undergraduate and then as a graduate student, but for most of this time as a faculty member. As such, his career was inextricably linked to the events and personages of Chicago. He studied under Lloyd Mints, Henry Schultz, and Henry Simons and later was a colleague of Paul Douglas, Ted Schultz, Gale Johnson, Albert Reese, Al Harberger, Milton Friedman, Harry Johnson, Robert Fogel, and James Heckman, to name a few of the eminent economists at the University of Chicago during his tenure there.

The papers are organized in series as follows: Research Notes, Drafts and Proofs Series; Articles, Comments and Notes Series; Correspondence Series; Teaching Materials Series; and Colleagues' Articles: Indexed Series.

The Research Notes, Drafts and Proofs Series dates from around the early 1980s and contains all material found in the collection which relate to Professor Lewis' book Union Relative Wage Effects: A Survey (University of Chicago Press, 1986). His two books are more than just summaries of the existing literature; they also involved extensive work of his own. For example, he recalculated a substantial amount of the data presented in the studies in order to replace or correct what he perceived as errors. As such, this series contains much more than the expected background notes, manuscripts, and proofs. It is comprised of approximately 300 manila folders, each meticulously grouped together by Lewis and sequentially numbered within the groupings. A single manila folder might contain an article/study; notes on that article (e.g. on data sources and coverage, sample restrictions, controls, and definitions of variables); correspondence with the authors of the studies asking for clarification on statistics, variables, and equations; notes showing the numbers which Lewis obtained in reworking the authors' calculations; and manuscript drafts of each chapter. His 1986 book is essentially a synthesis of a number of studies on the relative wage effects of unions, and an update of his earlier Unionism and Relative Wages in the United States: an Empirical Enquiry (University of Chicago Press, 1963). In his second book, Lewis looked specifically at different studies written post-1963 that analyzed the union versus non-union relative wage differential. These studies largely use micro data on individual workers for structural modeling. Unlike his 1963 book, most of the studies analyzed in Union Relative Wage Effects are not University of Chicago economics theses.

The Articles, Comments, and Notes Series contains articles written by Professor Lewis -- many of which were never published. These include: "How Americans Use their Time" (1975), "Notes on Partial Equilibrium Analysis" (1975), "Notes on Corner Problems in Production and Utility Theory" (no date), "Unionism, Wages and Employment in U.S. Coal Mining, 1945-68" (1971), "Notes on the Shadow Price of Household Time" (no date), "The Impact of Unionism on Relative Wages in the U.S." (1963), "Employer Interests in Employee Hours of Work" (late 1960s), "Notes on the Economics of Hours of Work" (1967), and various article reprints and comments that were published during the 1930s-1950s. This series also contains drafts of comments on colleagues' papers that were published. In addition, there are background notes on various topics, e.g. notes on a paper that he and Gary Becker worked on jointly regarding the interaction between the quantity and quality of children. This series also contains a copy of Professor Lewis' Ph.D. thesis, "Studies in the Elasticity of the Demand for Steel" (University of Chicago, March 1947).

The Correspondence Series is quite a substantive collection of letters Professor Lewis wrote to fellow economists or received from them over the period 1958 - 1986. It also includes a file containing referee reports (mostly done for the Journal of Political Economy). Note that the "University of Chicago" file excludes those pieces of correspondence with Albert Reese (who served as the Chairman of the Department of Economics during the 1960s). Instead, those letters are found in the file "Correspondence with Al Reese." The file titled "University of Chicago Department of Economics" contains correspondence that mostly relates to administrative duties that Lewis had as Director of Graduate Studies. Note that the "Milton Friedman" file is sparse, containing only three letters written between Friedman and Lewis. The "AEA Distinguished Fellow, 1981" file contains letters of congratulations from friends and colleagues upon his receipt of this prestigious award.

The Teaching Materials Series covers the period 1967-1986. In chronological order, it contains the lecture notes for classes taught both at the University of Chicago and at Duke. In addition, there are five files (ca. 1979) on University of Chicago dissertations which he supervised even after moving to Duke. In the words of Sherwin Rosen, one of his former students, Professor Lewis wielded his influence largely in the one-on-one teaching he did, serving on the committees of over 90 graduate students at Chicago, and supervising six Ph.D. dissertations at Duke. According to Rosen, his real forte was in this capacity as thesis advisor engaged in...

His teaching efforts in the classroom, moreover, did not go unnoticed; at the University of Chicago he was awarded the Quantrell Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching, and at Duke he was given the United Methodist's Teacher-Scholar award, both in recognition of his outstanding teaching.

Finally, the Colleagues' Articles: Indexed Series contains working papers and any hand-written notes (e.g. Lewis' calculations) on these papers. There are also pieces of correspondence related to the papers interspersed throughout this series.

References:

Rosen, Sherwin. H. Gregg Lewis Memorial Comments, 1994. Pamphlet reprinted by the Journal of Labor Economics, ed. Orley Ashenfelter.,

Descriptive Summary

Title
H. Gregg Lewis papers 1939-1990
Creator
Lewis, H. Gregg
Extent
28.5 Linear Feet, 17,100 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
English

Administrative Information

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warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

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Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

This series, 1978-86, is comprised of Professor Lewis' files for Union Relative Wage Effects: A Survey (University of Chicago Press, 1986). Boxes 1-6 contain approximately 300 manila folders' worth of research notes, arranged by Prof. Lewis according to subject matter. Boxes 7-8 hold chapter drafts, a file on reviews of his book, as well as data analyses (statistical tables and computer printouts).

Survey
(5 folders)
Box 1
Estab
(57 folders)
Box 1
Mobility
(8 folders)
Box 1
Dispers
(8 folders)
Box 1
Estim
(10 folders)
Box 1
Estim
(4 folders)
Box 2
Reference, 1-52
(52 folders)
Box 2
Reference, 53-92
(41 folders)
Box 3
Reference, 93-131
(38 folders)
Box 4
Reference, 133-147
(16 folders)
Box 5
Prob
(7 folders)
Box 5
Prod
(12 folders)
Box 5
Rigid
(4 folders)
Box 5
Spill
(4 folders)
Box 5
Theory
(15 folders)
Box 5
Time Series (Macro)
Box 5
Jobstat
(3 folders)
Box 5
Market
(2 folders)
Box 5
Misc.
(9 folders)
Box 6
Fringes
(17 folders)
Box 6
Macro
(41 folders)
Box 6
Reviews: H. G. Lewis's book
Box 7
Drafts: Chap. 1-7, 1982, Feb.-1984, June
(8 folders)
Box 7
Various computer printouts and data tables (in longhand)
Box 8

This series, 1939-90, contains various articles (published and unpublished), comments on colleagues' work, and unpublished notes (some of which were circulated widely among fellow economists). Arranged chronologically.

Various pamphlets, 1939-1947
Box 9
"Unionism, Wages and Employment in U.S. Coal Mining, 1945-1969" (1971)
Box 9
Studies in the Elasticity of the Demand for Steel, 1947
Box 9
"Some Observations on Duopoly Theory" (reprinted from AER Proceedings), 1948, May
Box 9
Three pamphlets, 1951-1963
Box 9
Book Reviews, 1941-1958
Box 9
Labor Unions and Labor Monopoly in the U.S., 1959
Box 9
"Notes on the Shadow Price of Household Time," 1960-1974
Box 9
The Impact of Unionism on Relative Wages in the U.S., 1963
Box 9
"Employer Interest in Employee Houses of Work," late 1960s
Box 9
"Notes on the Economics of Hours of Work," 1967
Box 9
Assorted notes, 1967-1972
Box 9
Three papers on Labor Force Participation, 1968, 1972
Box 9
Notes on Corner Problems in Production and Utility Theory, undated
Box 9
Comment to Ben-Porath Paper, JPE,1973, Mar./Apr.
Box 9
Becker and Lewis "On the Interaction Between Quantity and Quality of Children," 1973-1975
Box 9
Comments on Selectivity Biases in Wage Comparisons, 1974
Box 9
The Economics of Labor, 1974, Nov.
Box 9
Black Lung Commerce, 1974
Box 9
"Notes on Partial Equilibrium Analysis, " 1975
(4 folders)
Box 9
"Economics of Time and Labor Supply," 1975
Box 9
"How Americans Use Their Time," 1975-1976
Box 9
"Selected References": IRS: Princeton, 1976-1979
Box 9
"Competitive and Monopoly Unionism," undated
Box 9
Notes and letters regarding a paper by Becker, 1977
Box 9
Comments on wages and unionism in N.C., 1977, Oct. 14
Box 9
Rand Research Review, 1977
Box 9
NLS Newsletter, 1977
Box 9
The Center Newsletter, 1977
Box 9
AEI: Bulletins, etc. 1977-1978
Box 9
"Unionism and Relative Wages Revisited after 15 Years," 1978
Box 9
Notes on Becker: Effort Theory, 1978
Box 9
Retirement Conference: Duke, 1978, Oct.
Box 9
Two pamphlets, 1983
Box 9
Union/Non-Union Wage Gaps in the Public Sector, 1990, JLE
Box 9

This series, 1958-86, is comprised of two parts: files of general correspondence, arranged in chronological order, followed by specific files for people/events garnering or sending more substantive correspondence. Arranged alphabetically.

1958-1986
(6 folders)
Box 10
AEA Distinguished Fellows letters, 1981
Box 10
American Enterprise Association, 1958-1962
Box 10
Becker, Gary, 1957-1979
Box 10
Bunting, Robert L. 1964-1970
Box 10
Finegan, T. Aldrich (regarding), 1959-1971
Box 10
Fisher, Stanley, 1971-1972
Box 10
Fleisher, Belton (regarding), 1962-1972
Box 10
Friedman, Milton (regarding), 1960-1973
Box 10
Griliches, Zvi, 1960-1975
Box 10
Haberler, Gottfried, 1962
Box 10
Heckman, James, 1968-1976
Box 10
Jones, Ethel, 1969-1973
Box 10
Kessel, Reuben A., 1966-1971
Box 10
Lectures, seminars, conferences, etc, 1962-1975
Box 10
Mincer, Jacob (regarding), 1961-1962
Box 10
MacFarlan, Maitland, 1977, 1979
Box 10
Move from University of Chicago to Duke University,1975
Box 10
Oi, Walter, 1969-1972
Box 10
Rapping, Leonard, 1965-1970
Box 10
Reese, Albert, 1959-1977
Box 10
Referee Reports, 1956-1977
Box 10
Rosen, Sherwin, 1967-1977
Box 10
Simler, Norman J., 1961-1973
Box 10
Unionism and Relative Wages in the United States (published 1963), 1961-1966
Box 10
University of Chicago Department of Economics: Memoranda, Administrative Papers, etc, 1956-1975
Box 10
Welch, Finis, 1967-1976
Box 10

This series,1967-83, includes lecture notes, syllabi, handout materials, problem sets, and exams for various labor economics classes which he taught (some at Chicago, others at Duke). Also contains sample labor prelim exams from both schools. There are files on dissertations-in-progress for five University of Chicago Ph.D. Economics students (ca. 1975-1979) whose work he continued to supervise after moving to Duke in 1976.

Econ 343, summer 1967
Box 11
Econ 240, Spring 1974
Box 11
Econ 341
(3 folders)
Box 11
Dissertation: James Hasek,1975
Box 11
Fechter, Alan, 1976-1977
Box 11
Horowitz, Stanley, 1975-1976
Box 11
Stockel, A., Thesis, 1977
Box 11
Dissertation: Correspondence regarding Thomas Campbell,1979
Box 11
Exams and grade lists: Duke, 1975-1976
Box 11
Eco 52.9, Spring 1976
Box 11
Labor Economics: Prelim Exams, 1970-1983
(3 folders)
Box 11
355, 1976-1982
Box 11
358, 1979-1981
(3 folders)
Box 11
149: Lecture notes, Spring 1984
Box 11
155: Labor Econ for undergraduates, 1984-1986
Box 11

This series, ca. 1970-mid 1980s,is comprised of eight boxes of academic articles, the bulk of which are working papers written on various topics in labor economics. The articles are grouped together under letters of the alphabet, arranged methodically according to an organizational schema whose "key" is unknown: only Professor Lewis knew exactly what rubrics he had in mind in filing certain papers together. Nonetheless, an attempt has been made to hypothesize the general theme/subject matter of each grouping :

Papers under "A": unions' impact on wages, collective bargaining.
Box 12
Papers under "B": theory of unions and union growth.
Box 12
Papers under "C": union behavior and power; corruption; cartel model of unions.
Box 12
Papers under "D": unionization's effects on wages and employment: disequilibrium
Box 12
and market distortions.
Box 12
Papers under "E": economics of the family; quantity/quality of children; fertility and child quality.
Box 12
Papers under "F": health and schooling/education.
Box 13
Papers under "G": economic development and growth; human capital investment; income distribution and earnings; econometric studies of wage determination.
Box 14
Papers under "H": labor market turnover; schooling interruptions; layoffs.
Box 14
Papers under "I": schooling: family model of schooling, female schooling, male youth schooling, preschool children, households' time allocation
Box 15
Papers under "J": marriage: marital instability, determinants of, etc.
Box 15
Papers under "K": production functions: functional forms, factors of production,elasticities of substitution.
Box 15
Papers under "L": elasticity of demand for labor.
Box 15
Papers under "M": labor supply and allocation of effort.
Box 15
Papers under "M", cont.
Box 16
Papers under "N": labor force participation rates and labor supply: women in labor force, retirement age, etc.
Box 16
Papers under "O": estimating labor supply response: sensitivity analysis.
Box 16
Papers under "Q": racial discrimination.
Box 16
Papers under "R": government subsidies; parole success; income and education.
Box 16
Papers under "S": wage rates: links with city sizes, older workers, immigration, etc.
Box 17
Papers under "T": tax policies, unemployment insurance and employment.
Box 17
Papers under "U": models with income taxes: estimations and case studies.
Box 17
Papers under "V": migration and job mobility.
Box 18
Papers under "W": assessing the impact of income maintenance programs on migration.
Box 18
Papers under "X": unemployment legislation: min. wage laws, unemployment insurance programs and their impact, welfare benefits, fair employment laws.
Box 18
Papers under "Y": the economics of information: search and signaling; pricing info.
Box 18
Papers under "Z": job satisfaction; wage differentials and public policy; quality of life indices.
Box 18
Papers under "AA": separation and divorce; family and intergenerational mobility, single-person households.
Box 19
Papers under "AB": screening: theory of labor market discrimination, estimation of employee performance, testing educational screening hypothesis.
Box 19

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1914, May 9Born Harold Gregg Lewis, in Homer, Mich.
1936B.A. (Economics), University of Chicago.
1939-75Member of the faculty, University of Chicago Department of Economics. At various times was also: a Research Associate at Cowles Commission, Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of Chicago-Latin American Program (Chile and Argentina projects)
1941, AutumnEconomist for the President's Emergency Railroad Board.
1943-456th Regional War Labor Board (Chicago office): War Labor Board's liaison with Armed Forces, 1943-June 1944; Assistant Wage Stabilization Director, June 1944-April 1945
1945, Apr.-Sept.Army Air Force
1947Ph.D. (Economics), University of Chicago. Dissertation: "Studies in the Elasticity of Demand for Steel."
1959-60Ford Foundation Faculty Research Fellow.
1963Publication of Unionism and Relative Wages in the United States (University of Chicago Press).
1967-68Visiting Professor in Economics, Catholic University of Chile (in Santiago).
1971Visiting Professor, University of Minnesota and Macalester University (St. Paul).
1972Awarded the Quantrell Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching, University of Chicago.
1974-75Visiting Research Scholar, Princeton University.
1976-84Professor, Duke University.
1976, Aug.Special Issue of the Journal of Political Economy: "Essays in Labor Economics: in Honor of H. Gregg Lewis," ed. Gary S. Becker.
1981Honored as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economics Association.
1983Lead article, inaugural issue of the Journal of Labor Economics.
1983Awarded the Duke University Scholar-Teacher Award, sponsored by the United Methodist Church.
1984Retired from Duke University.
1986Made a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
1986Publication of Union Relative Wage Effects: A Survey (University of Chicago Press).
1992, Jan. 25Died at his home in Chapel Hill, NC.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], H. Gregg Lewis Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The papers of H. Gregg Lewis were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University in 1989. More papers were added following his death in 1992.

Processing Information

Professor Lewis threw out many of his papers upon moving from the University of Chicago to Duke University in 1976. He only kept half a file-drawer filled with longer letters. At Duke, without a personal secretary to file for him, he discarded most items as he finished with them. (From notes of Bob Byrd, Director of Special Collections Libary, H. Gregg Lewis Collection Control File).

Processed by Joanna Vinluan

Completed November 30, 1998

Encoded by Don Sechler

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.