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A Note on Danish Living Standards through Historical Wage Series, 1731-1913

Author

Listed:
  • Ekaterina Khaustova

    (Russian State Social University (Kursk))

  • Paul Sharp

    () (University of Southern Denmark)

Abstract

This paper makes use of published information on wages and prices in Denmark to construct consistent real wage series for the years 1731 to 1913, which can be compared to other countries. Placing Denmark in a comparative perspective demonstrates that from being a relatively poor, backward economy in the eighteenth century, by the 1870s Copenhagen had one of the highest standards of living in Europe. Interestingly, this was before the introduction of stream-driven cooperative creameries, which leads us to speculate that high wages might have been an incentive to mechanize, as well as being a consequence of the later productivity increases in agriculture in particular.

Suggested Citation

  • Ekaterina Khaustova & Paul Sharp, 2015. "A Note on Danish Living Standards through Historical Wage Series, 1731-1913," Working Papers 0081, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0081
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    File URL: http://www.ehes.org/EHES_81.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Henriksen, Ingrid & Lampe, Markus & Sharp, Paul, 2011. "The role of technology and institutions for growth: Danish creameries in the late nineteenth century," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 475-493, December.
    3. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alexandra M. de Pleijt & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2016. "Accounting for the “Little Divergence”: What drove economic growth in pre-industrial Europe, 1300–1800?," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 387-409.
    5. Van Zanden, Jan Luiten, 2009. "The skill premium and the ‘Great Divergence’," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 121-153, April.
    6. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273, April.
    7. Michael D. Bordo & John S. Landon-Lane, 2010. "The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08: Is it Unprecedented?," NBER Working Papers 16589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Sandholt Jensen & Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp & Christian Volmar Skovsgaard, 2018. "‘Getting to Denmark’: the Role of Elites for Development," Working Papers 0125, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. Sofia Teives Henriques & Paul Sharp, 2016. "The Danish agricultural revolution in an energy perspective: a case of development with few domestic energy sources," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(3), pages 844-869, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Copenhagen; Denmark; prices; real wages;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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