The skill premium and the ‘Great Divergence’
This article analyses the long-term development of the skill premium in western Europe in a global perspective, on the basis of data on wages of skilled and unskilled construction workers in more than a dozen European countries and regions, and in a number of non-European countries such as India, China, Japan, Russia, Korea and Indonesia. It shows that already in the late medieval period the skill premium in western Europe had fallen sharply and became, from the fifteenth century onwards, much lower than in most other parts of the world economy. Only in southern China, and perhaps also in nineteenth-century Japan, did the skill premium fall to an equally low level. The explanation for these global patterns focuses on factor proportions, the quality of institutions and demand-related factors. Moreover, it is argued that the skill premium measured in this way is also a predictor of long-term economic performance.
Volume (Year): 13 (2009)
Issue (Month): 01 (April)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK|
Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_ERE
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Broadberry, Stephen N & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2005. "The Early Modern Great Divergence: Wages, Prices and Economic Development in Europe and Asia, 1500-1800," CEPR Discussion Papers 4947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Oded Galor, 2004.
"From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory,"
GE, Growth, Math methods
- Feinstein, Charles, 1988. "The Rise and Fall of the Williamson Curve," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(03), pages 699-729, September.
- Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2007. "'Whatever is, is right'? Economic institutions in pre-industrial Europe -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(4), pages 649-684, November.
- Saito, Osamu, 1978. "The labor market in Tokugawa Japan: Wage differentials and the real wage level, 1727-1830," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 84-100, January.
- Daron Acemoglu, 2002.
"Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
- Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gregory Clark, 2007.
"Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
[A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World]," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
- H. Youn Kim, 1988. "The Consumer Demand for Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(2), pages 173-192.
- Daron Acemoglu, 2002.
"Cross-Country Inequality Trends,"
NBER Working Papers
8832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gregory Clark, 2005.
"The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
- Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working-Class in England, 1209-2004," Working Papers 539, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Epstein, S. R., 1998. "Craft Guilds, Apprenticeship, and Technological Change in Preindustrial Europe," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 684-713, September.
- J. L. Van Zanden, 1995. "Tracing the beginning of the Kuznets curve: western Europe during the early modern period," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(4), pages 643-664, November.
- zmucur, S leyman & Pamuk, Sevket, 2002. "Real Wages And Standards Of Living In The Ottoman Empire, 1489 1914," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(02), pages 293-321, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:13:y:2009:i:01:p:121-153_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.