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Real Wages Once More: A Response to Judy Stephenson


  • Robert C. Allen

    () (Division of Social Science)


Judy Stephenson’s claim that institutional wage series like of those Greenwich Hospital overstate the earnings of building workers by 20-30% is examined, and, it is argued here, the conclusion is unpersuasive. Whatever adjustments to existing wage series are necessary in view of her new evidence would have no significant implications for real wages in England compared to the rest of the world. Consequently, Judy Stephenson’s findings do not call into question the high wage high wage explanation of the Industrial Revolution.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert C. Allen, 2017. "Real Wages Once More: A Response to Judy Stephenson," Working Papers 20170006, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Jul 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:nad:wpaper:20170006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Babbage, Charles, 1832. "Economy of Machinery and Manufactures," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number babbage1832.
    2. Pamuk, Şevket & Shatzmiller, Maya, 2014. "Plagues, Wages, and Economic Change in the Islamic Middle East, 700–1500," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(01), pages 196-229, March.
    3. Allen, Robert C. & Murphy, Tommy E. & Schneider, Eric B., 2012. "The Colonial Origins of the Divergence in the Americas: A Labor Market Approach," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(04), pages 863-894, December.
    4. Judy Z. Stephenson, 2016. "The pay of labourers and unskilled men on London building sites, 1660 – 1770," Working Papers 24, Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge.
    5. Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen & Tommy E. Murphy and Eric B. Schneider, 2011. "The Colonial Origins of Divergence in the Americas: A Labour Market Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 559, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Robert C. Allen & Jean-Pascal Bassino & Debin Ma & Christine Moll-Murata & Jan Luiten Van Zanden, 2011. "Wages, prices, and living standards in China, 1738–1925: in comparison with Europe, Japan, and India," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64, pages 8-38, February.
    7. Arroyo Abad, Leticia & Davies, Elwyn & van Zanden, Jan Luiten, 2012. "Between conquest and independence: Real wages and demographic change in Spanish America, 1530–1820," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 149-166.
    8. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273, June.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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