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Institutions, wages, and inequality: The case of Europe and its periphery (1500-1899)

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  • Chor, Davin

Abstract

This paper explores the long-run relationship between institutions and wage outcomes in Europe and its periphery. I find that cities that exercised stronger institutional protection of private property experienced : (i) higher levels of both skilled and unskilled real wages, as well as (ii) lower levels of inequality as measured by the skilled-unskilled wage ratio. While the first result corroborates existing work on the positive growth effects of better institutions, the second finding is more novel to the literature. Some explanations are proposed for how stronger institutions can cause an increase in the relative supply of skilled workers, thus lowering wage inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 42 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 547-566

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:42:y:2005:i:4:p:547-566

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
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  15. Clark, Gregory, 2002. "Land rental values and the agrarian economy: England and Wales, 1500 1914," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 281-308, December.
  16. Chor, Davin, 2005. "Institutions, wages, and inequality: The case of Europe and its periphery (1500-1899)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 547-566, October.
  17. van Zanden, Jan L., 1999. "Wages and the standard of living in Europe, 1500 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 175-197, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Chor, Davin, 2005. "Institutions, wages, and inequality: The case of Europe and its periphery (1500-1899)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 547-566, October.
  2. Ulrich Pfister & Georg Fertig, 2010. "The population history of Germany: research strategy and preliminary results," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-035, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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