EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Unreal Wages? Real Income and Economic Growth in England, 1260–1850

Jane Humphries and Jacob Weisdorf

Economic Journal, 2019, vol. 129, issue 623, 2867-2887

Abstract: Estimates of historical workers’ annual incomes suffer from the fundamental problem that they are inferred from day wage rates without knowing how many days of work day-labourers undertook per year. We circumvent the problem by building an income series based on the payments made to workers employed by the year rather than by the day. Our data suggest that earlier annual income estimates based on day wages overestimate medieval labour incomes but underestimate labour incomes during the Industrial Revolution. Our revised estimates indicate that modern economic growth began more than two centuries earlier than commonly thought and was driven by an ‘Industrious Revolution’. They also suggest that the current global downturn in labour's share is not exceptional but fits within the range of historical fluctuations.

Date: 2019
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (13) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ej/uez017 (application/pdf)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
Working Paper: Unreal Wages? Real Income and Economic Growth in England, 1260-1850 (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: UNREAL WAGES? REAL INCOME AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN ENGLAND, 1260-1850 (2017) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:econjl:v:129:y:2019:i:623:p:2867-2887.

Access Statistics for this article

Economic Journal is currently edited by Morten Ravn

More articles in Economic Journal from Royal Economic Society Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Oxford University Press ().

 
Page updated 2021-04-01
Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:129:y:2019:i:623:p:2867-2887.