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East of Eden: Polish living standards in a European perspective, ca. 1500-1800

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  • Mikolaj Malinowski
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    Abstract

    This research contributes to the debate on economic growth and income inequalities in early modern Europe by estimating real wages expressed in subsistence-ratios in the rural and urban sectors of the Kingdom of Poland. Furthermore, a method of weighting the wages with data on the employment structure is outlined and implemented. A comparison of the Polish-weighted real wages with the English and Italian suggests two waves of supremacy of the North Sea Region. The first divergence occurred prior to the early modern period and the second resumed in the 17th century. The paper incorporates non-wage-earning farmers and agricultural workers paid partially in kind into the analytical framework.

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    File URL: http://www.cgeh.nl/sites/default/files/WorkingPapers/CGEHwp43_malinowski.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History in its series Working Papers with number 0043.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0043

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    Postal: University of Utrecht, Drift 10, The Netherlands
    Web page: http://www.cgeh.nl
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    Related research

    Keywords: Real Wages; Little Divergence; Pre-industrial economic growth; Poland;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
    2. Domar, Evsey D., 1970. "The Causes of Slavery or Serfdom: A Hypothesis," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(01), pages 18-32, March.
    3. Luis Angeles, 2007. "GDP per capita or Real Wages? Making sense of coflicting views on pre-industrial Europe," Working Papers 2007_11, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    4. Paolo Malanima, 2013. "When did England overtake Italy? Medieval and early modern divergence in prices and wages," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 45-70, February.
    5. Blondé, Bruno & Hanus, Jord, 2010. "Beyond building craftsmen. Economic growth and living standards in the sixteenth-century Low Countries: the case of 's-Hertogenbosch (1500–1560)," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(02), pages 179-207, August.
    6. Allen, Robert C., 2000. "Economic structure and agricultural productivity in Europe, 1300 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 1-25, April.
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