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Journal ArticleDOI

Prices and wages in Segovia, 1571–1807

01 Sep 2020-Revista De Historia Economica (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)-Vol. 38, Iss: 2, pp 221-248
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors analyze the evolution of wages in the construction offices of Segovia, one of the most important Castilian and Spanish manufacturing towns, between 1571 and 1807.
Abstract: espanolEl articulo analiza la evolucion de los precios y salarios reales en los oficios de la construccion en una de las principales ciudades manufactureras de la Castilla Moderna, Segovia, entre 1571 y 1807. La segunda parte analiza los salarios nominales obtenidos por los oficiales y peones de albanil de la ciudad, mientras que la tercera presenta al indice de precios de Segovia entre 1571 y 1807. Por ultimo, la cuarta parte analiza la evolucion de los salarios reales en los oficios de la construccion de la ciudad. Estos evolucionaron en linea con la economia local: despues de culminar en el primer cuarto del siglo XVII experimentaron un declive continuado, de forma que en 1807 los salarios reales de los oficiales y peones de albanil segovianos apenas llegaban a un 50 por cien de los salarios reales del primer cuarto del siglo XVII. EnglishThis paper deals with the evolution of wages in the construction offices of Segovia, one of the most important Castilian and Spanish manufacturing towns, between 1571 and 1807. Part two deals with the nominal wages earned by the building officials and labourers of the city and part three presents the Segovian prices index between 1571 and 1807. Finally, part four analyses the evolution of the real wages earned in the construction offices of the town. Segovian real wages evolved in line with the local economy; after peaking in the first quarter of the 17th century, they experienced a continuous decline, so in 1807 the real wages of Segovian building officials and labourers were 50 per cent of those of the first quarter of the 17th century.
Citations
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Posted Content
TL;DR: Two distinctive regimes are distinguished in Spain over half-a-millennium as mentioned in this paper : a high land-labour ratio frontier economy, pastoral, trade-oriented, and led by towns.
Abstract: Two distinctive regimes are distinguished in Spain over half-a-millennium. A first one (1270s-1590s) corresponds to a high land-labour ratio frontier economy, pastoral, trade-oriented, and led by towns. Wages and food consumption were relatively high. Sustained per capita growth occurred from the Reconquest’s end (1264) to the Black Death (1340s) and resumed from the 1390s only broken by late-15th century turmoil. A second regime (1600s-1810s) corresponds to a more agricultural and densely populated low-wage economy which grew along a lower path. Contrary to preindustrial Western Europe, Spain achieved her highest living standards in the 1340s, not by mid-15th century. Although its population toll was lower, the Plague had a more damaging impact on Spain and, far from releasing non-existent demographic pressure, destroyed the equilibrium between scarce population and abundant resources. Pre-1350 per capita income was reached by the late 16th century but only overcome after 1820.

186 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: The role of agriculture in Spain's contribution to the little divergence in Europe is explored in this article, where long-run trends in agricultural output are drawn on the basis of tithes, and the authors show that agricultural output per worker moved along labour force in agriculture over the long run, supporting the depiction of Spain as a frontier economy.
Abstract: This paper explores the role of agriculture in Spain's contribution to the little divergence in Europe. On the basis of tithes, long-run trends in agricultural output are drawn. After a long period of relative stability, output suffered a severe contraction during 1570-1620, followed by stagnation to 1650, and steady expansion thereafter. Output per head shifted from a relatively high to a low path that persisted until the nineteenth century. The decline in agricultural output per head and per worker from a relatively high level contributed to Spain falling behind and, hence, to the Little Divergence in Europe. Output per worker moved along labour force in agriculture over the long run, supporting the depiction of Spain as a frontier economy. Institutional factors, in a context of financial and monetary instability and war, along climatic anomalies, provide explanatory hypotheses that deserve further research.

43 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide a detailed empirical assessment of the evolution of income inequality and the redistributive effects of the tax and transfer system following the 2007-2008 crisis, focusing on the US case, drawing on data from the Current Population Survey for the period 2007-2012.
Abstract: This paper provides a detailed empirical assessment of the evolution of income inequality and the redistributive effects of the tax and transfer system following the 2007-2008 crisis. It focuses on the US case, drawing on data from the Current Population Survey for the period 2007-2012. Contrary to most existing studies, it uses of a wide range of inequality indicators and looks in detail at several sections of the income distribution, allowing for a clearer picture of the heterogeneous consequences of the crisis. Furthermore, it analyses the contribution of different types of taxes and transfers, beyond the overall cushioning effect of the system, which allows for a more refined assessment of its effectiveness. Results show that although the crisis implied income losses across the whole income distribution, the burden was disproportionately born by low to middle income groups. Income losses experienced by richer households were relatively modest and transitory, while those experienced by poorer households were not only strong but also highly persistent. The redistributive system had a crucial role in taming the increase in income inequality in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, and during the GR years, particularly cash transfers. After 2010, however, its effect became weaker and income inequality experienced a new surge. The findings of this paper contribute to a better understanding of the distributional consequences of aggregate crises and the role of tax and transfer policies in stabilising the income distribution in a crisis aftermath.

7 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide new series of building wages for 18th-century Madrid, and show the existence of a complex world of skills and, consequently, of wage rates that only come to the surface when they reconstruct the working lives of the thousands of workers who participated in the construction of the Royal Palace of Madrid.
Abstract: This paper provides new series of building wages for 18th-century Madrid. At an international level, the usual point of reference for Spain during the 18th century is the wage series that Earl Hamilton compiled (and Robert Allen included in his database) using the payrolls from the construction of the Royal Palace of Madrid. However, Hamilton did not fully exploit the rich information that those data provide about wage rates, skills and labour force participation. Contrary to the simplicity of the labour categories in Hamilton’s series, our results show the existence of a complex world of skills and, consequently, of wage rates that only come to the surface when we reconstruct the working lives of the thousands of workers who participated in the building of the new palace. The new data presented in this paper provide some new insights into the functioning of labour markets and the complexity of wage (and even human capital) formation in pre-industrial Madrid.

2 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
Robert C. Allen1
TL;DR: In this article, the authors trace the history of prices and wages in European cities from the fourteenth century to the First World War and show that the divergence in real incomes observed in the mid-nineteenth century was produced between 1500 and 1750 as incomes fell in most European cities but were maintained (not increased) in the economic leaders.

891 citations

Book
01 Jan 1984
TL;DR: De Vries as mentioned in this paper provides a comprehensive data base for understanding the nature of the changes that took place in European cities from 1500 to 1800, based on an immense systematic survey of the population history of 379 European cities with 10,000 or more inhabitants analysed at fifty-year intervals.
Abstract: In European Urbanization Jan de Vries provides a comprehensive data base for understanding the nature of the changes that took place in European cities from 1500 to 1800. The book is based on an immense systematic survey of the population history of 379 European cities with 10,000 or more inhabitants analysed at fifty-year intervals. Using a wide range of economic, demographic and geographic models, Professor de Vries illustrates the patterns of urban growth, draws conclusions about the significance of migratory behaviour and shows the effects of urbanization on the history of Europe as a whole. Presenting these broad measures in urbanization the book makes the case that the cities of Europe gradually came to form a single urban system. The properties of this system are analysed with the use of several different geographical concepts: rank-size distribution, transition matrices and potential surfaces, among others. This examination of the fortunes of cities of different sizes and regions and the economic and political factors that affected their development is fundamentally important for understanding modern Europe and contemporary problems of urban development. Jan de Vries mines these rich, complex data to give us a balanced view of the dynamics of change in urban, pre-industrial society. This book was first published in 1984.

431 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 1987
TL;DR: The Spanish Scientific Research Council’s (SSRC) Institute of Nutrition is preparing a revision of the recommended requirements and allowances for the most significant groups within the Spanish population.
Abstract: Recent progress in nutrition has led to substantial changes over the past few years, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in the recommended intake of energy and nutrients for the different groups within the general population. Man’s diet, in turn, has to be adjusted to fit these new criteria. This has prompted the Spanish Scientific Research Council’s (SSRC) Institute of Nutrition to prepare a revision of the recommended requirements and allowances for the most significant groups within the Spanish population.

407 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: Two distinctive regimes are distinguished in Spain over half-a-millennium as mentioned in this paper : a high land-labour ratio frontier economy, pastoral, trade-oriented, and led by towns.
Abstract: Two distinctive regimes are distinguished in Spain over half-a-millennium. A first one (1270s-1590s) corresponds to a high land-labour ratio frontier economy, pastoral, trade-oriented, and led by towns. Wages and food consumption were relatively high. Sustained per capita growth occurred from the Reconquest’s end (1264) to the Black Death (1340s) and resumed from the 1390s only broken by late-15th century turmoil. A second regime (1600s-1810s) corresponds to a more agricultural and densely populated low-wage economy which grew along a lower path. Contrary to preindustrial Western Europe, Spain achieved her highest living standards in the 1340s, not by mid-15th century. Although its population toll was lower, the Plague had a more damaging impact on Spain and, far from releasing non-existent demographic pressure, destroyed the equilibrium between scarce population and abundant resources. Pre-1350 per capita income was reached by the late 16th century but only overcome after 1820.

186 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Two distinctive regimes are distinguished in Spain over half a millennium as mentioned in this paper : the first one corresponds to a high land-labour ratio frontier economy, which is pastoral, trade-oriented, and led by towns.
Abstract: Two distinctive regimes are distinguished in Spain over half a millennium. The first one (1270s–1590s) corresponds to a high land–labour ratio frontier economy, which is pastoral, trade-oriented, and led by towns. Wages and food consumption were relatively high. Sustained per capita growth occurred from the end of the Reconquest (1264) to the Black Death (1340s) and resumed from the 1390s only broken by late fifteenth-century turmoil. A second regime (1600s–1810s) corresponds to a more agricultural and densely populated low-wage economy which, although it grew at a pace similar to that of 1270–1600, remained at a lower level. Contrary to pre-industrial western Europe, Spain achieved its highest living standards in the 1340s, not by mid-fifteenth century. Although its death toll was lower, the plague had a more damaging impact on Spain and, far from releasing non-existent demographic pressure, destroyed the equilibrium between scarce population and abundant resources. Pre-1350 per capita income was reached by the late sixteenth century but only exceeded after 1820.

144 citations