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Building Workers in Madrid (1737-1805). New Wage Series and Working Lives

Author

Listed:
  • Mario García-Zúñiga

    (University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU)

  • Ernesto López-Losa

    (University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU)

Abstract

This paper provides new series of building wages for 18th-century Madrid. At an international level, the usual point of reference for Spain during the 18th century is the wage series that Earl Hamilton compiled (and Robert Allen included in his database) using the payrolls from the construction of the Royal Palace of Madrid. However, Hamilton did not fully exploit the rich information that those data provide about wage rates, skills and labour force participation. Contrary to the simplicity of the labour categories in Hamilton’s series, our results show the existence of a complex world of skills and, consequently, of wage rates that only come to the surface when we reconstruct the working lives of the thousands of workers who participated in the building of the new palace. The new data presented in this paper provide some new insights into the functioning of labour markets and the complexity of wage (and even human capital) formation in pre-industrial Madrid.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario García-Zúñiga & Ernesto López-Losa, 2019. "Building Workers in Madrid (1737-1805). New Wage Series and Working Lives," Working Papers 0152, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0152
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    File URL: http://www.ehes.org/EHES_152.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spain; building wages; pre-industrial labour market; 18th century; construction history;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J49 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Other
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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