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Institutions, Wages and Inequality : The Case of Europe and its Periphery (1500-1899)

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  • Davin Chor

    (SMU)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Davin Chor, 2005. "Institutions, Wages and Inequality : The Case of Europe and its Periphery (1500-1899)," Microeconomics Working Papers 22065, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:microe:22065
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 546-579.
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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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    institutions; Wage inequality; European cities;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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