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Constructing equality? : Women’s wages for physical labor, 1550-1759

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  • Gary, Kathryn

    (Department of Economic History, Lund University)

Abstract

This paper combines new archival data on women’s wages from southern Sweden with published series from Stockholm in order to create a series of early modern female construction workers’ wages between the middle of the sixteenth and middle of the eighteenth centuries. This paper finds that women had relatively high relative wages in the later part of the sixteenth century, with an increasing wage gap into the eighteenth century, and that the changes in women’s relative remuneration are connected to changes in demand factors. This paper challenges assumptions about women’s participation in manual labor, in many cases finding a lack of differentiation between female and male unskilled workers as well as and unskilled labor force comprised of from forty to sixty percent women and high work intensity for female construction workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary, Kathryn, 2017. "Constructing equality? : Women’s wages for physical labor, 1550-1759," Lund Papers in Economic History 158, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:luekhi:0158
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    File URL: https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/search/publication/18b2ec0e-98b5-4d8f-83a3-1302aec4b858
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edvinsson, Rodney, 2009. "The multiple currencies of Sweden-Finland 1534-1803," Stockholm Papers in Economic History 7, Stockholm University, Department of Economic History.
    2. R. C. Allen & J. L. Weisdorf, 2011. "Was there an ‘industrious revolution’ before the industrial revolution? An empirical exercise for England, c. 1300–1830," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(3), pages 715-729, August.
    3. Tine De Moor & Jan Luiten Van Zanden, 2010. "Girl power: the European marriage pattern and labour markets in the North Sea region in the late medieval and early modern period1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(1), pages 1-33, February.
    4. Burnette,Joyce, 2008. "Gender, Work and Wages in Industrial Revolution Britain," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521880633, July.
    5. de Vries, Jan, 1994. "The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 249-270, June.
    6. Joyce Burnette, 2004. "The wages and employment of female day‐labourers in English agriculture, 1740–1850," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 57(4), pages 664-690, November.
    7. Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2011. "The Malthusian Intermezzo - Women’s wages and human capital formation between the Late Middle Ages and the Demographic Transition of the 19th century," Working Papers 0014, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender wage gap; wages; women; Scandinavia; Sweden; early modern period;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N64 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: 1913-

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