How Prosperous were the Romans? Evidence from Diocletian`s Price Edict (301 AD)
AbstractThe paper compares the standard of living of labourers in the Roman Empire in 301 AD with the standard of living of labourers in Europe and Asia from the middle ages to the industrial revolution. Roman data are drawn from Diocletian`s Price Edict. The real wage of Roman workers was like that of their counterparts in the lagging parts of Europe and much of Asia in the middle of the eighteenth century. Roman workers earned just enough to buy a minimal subsistence consumption basket. Real wages were considerably higher in the advanced parts of Europe in the eighteenth century, as they had been in Europe generally following the Black Death in 1348-9.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 363.
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Standard of Living; Real Wage; Roman Empire; Long Run Economic Growth;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-11-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2007-11-03 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAB-2007-11-03 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-SEA-2007-11-03 (South East Asia)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- links for 2010-02-11
by Brad DeLong in Grasping Reality with the Invisible Hand on 2010-02-11 08:05:21
- Ashenfelter, Orley, 2012. "Comparing Real Wage Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 6500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen, 2011. "Technology and the Great Divergence," Economics Series Working Papers 548, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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