The Effects of Annexation on the Labor Market in Hawai`i
Abstract: In 1898 the United States annexed Hawai`'i and incorporated it as a U.S. territory in 1900. The Organic Act establishing Hawai`i's territorial government terminated the penal labor contracts of plantation workers in Hawai`i. I use plantation records of payments to workers to determine whether there were substantial changes in wages and days-worked-per-month in the months leading to and after the 14 June 1900 transition to territorial rule. The analysis reveals increases in wages paid to all types of plantation labor, but none as significant as the increase in wages of formerly contract workers. There was also a decrease in days-worked-per-month for contract workers. Then, I consider whether changes in wages were due to a break-down in monopsony power after all coercive contracts simultaneously ended or integration of the Hawai`i labor market with the U.S. West Coast labor market.