The Riddle of the Sands? Incentives and Labour Contracts on Archaeological digs in Northern Syria in the 1930s
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This paper analyses data on the daily work decisions of archaeological workers on a Syrian archaeological dig in 1938. The remuneration contract that these workers faced involved a fixed component and a stochastic component termed “bakshish” which were daily payments for small finds that the worker made on the dig. The value of these finds we argue represent transitory movements in the worker’s wage which can be used to examine intertemporal labour supply behaviour.