Employment and careers in the Spanish Postal Service, 1890-1935 Articles uri icon

publication date

  • December 2015

start page

  • 455

end page

  • 486


  • 3


  • 33

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0212-6109

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2041-3335


  • The development of postal services has played an indisputable role in industrialization, market integration and state formation. Smooth functioning of these services depended on the existence of a well-paid and motivated body of civil servants. I study the organization of the internal labour market for civil servants in postal services in Spain from 1890 to 1935 showing a career in the postal services offered high entry wages, growing wages over the life cycle, and a secure job until retirement. There were two downsides to pursuing a career in the postal services. Firstly, entry and promotion depended on the expansion of employment. Secondly, nominal wages were upward rigid, causing large real wage losses during WWI.


  • postal services; internal labour markets; wages; bureaucracy; spain; life-cycle earnings; mandatory retirement; efficiency wages; banking industry; salaries; opportunities