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Real Wages and the Family: Adjusting Real Wages to Changing Demography in Pre-Modern England

  • Eric Schneider

    ()

    (History Faculty and Nuffield College, University of Oxford, UK)

This paper uses demographic data drawn from Wrigley et al.’s (1997) family reconstitutions of 26 English parishes to adjust Allen’s (2001) real wages to the changing demography of early modern England. Using parity progression ratios (a fertility measure) and age specific mortality for children and parents, model families are predicted in two reference periods 1650-1700 and 1750-1800. These models yield two levels of interesting results. At the individual family level, we can measure how different families’ real wages changed over the family life cycle as additional children were born. At the aggregate level, we can predict thousands of families using Monte Carlo simulation, creating a realistic distribution of median family real wages in the economy. There are two main findings. First, pregnancy and lactation do not create cyclical effects in the family’s income. Instead, most families’ welfare ratios decline steadily across the family life cycle until children begin to leave the household, increasing the welfare ratios. Second, Allen’s real wages understate or match the median of the predicted demography-adjusted distributions.

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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/12033/schneider99.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Oxford University Economic and Social History Series with number _099.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 31 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_099
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. 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, 08.
  2. Douglas A. Irwin & Kevin H. O'Rourke, . "Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp387, IIIS.
  3. Eric B. Schneider, 2012. "Real Wages and the Family: Adjusting Real Wages to Changing Demography in Pre-Modern England," Economics Series Working Papers Number 99, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Florian Ploeckl, 2010. "The Zollverein and the Formation of a Customs Union," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _084, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  5. 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," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 32403, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Emanuele Felice, 2011. "The determinants of Italy's regional imbalances over the long run: exploring the contributions of human and social capital," Economics Series Working Papers Number 88, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Eric Schneider, 2012. "Prices and Production: Agricultural Supply Response in Fourteenth-Century England," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _097, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. Horrell, Sara & Humphries, Jane & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2001. "Destined for Deprivation: Human Capital Formation and Intergenerational Poverty in Nineteenth-Century England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 339-365, July.
  9. Alan de Bromhead & Barry Eichengreen & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2012. "Right-Wing Political Extremism in the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 17871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rui P. Esteves, 2011. "The Political Economy of Global Financial Liberalisation in Historical Perspective," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _089, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  11. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521687850, Junio.
  12. Robert W. Fogel & Nathaniel Grotte, 2011. "An Overview of The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World Since 1700," NBER Working Papers 16938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Eric B. Schneider, 2011. "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Yield-Raising Strategies in Medieval England: An Econometric Approach," Economics Series Working Papers Number 90, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Florian Ploeckl & Simon C. Holmes, 2012. "Bank on Steel? Joint-Stock Banks and the Rationalisation of the British Interwar Steel Industry," Economics Series Working Papers Number 93, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. Jane Humphries, 2011. "The Lure of Aggregates and the Pitfalls of the Patriarchal Perspective: A Critique of the High Wage Economy Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution," Economics Series Working Papers Paper 91, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. Humphries,Jane, 2010. "Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521847568, Junio.
  17. Roderick Floud & Robert W. Fogel & Bernard Harris & Sok Chul Hong, 2011. "The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number foge10-1, September.
  18. S. Ryan Johansson, 2010. "Medics, Monarchs and Mortality, 1600-1800: Origins of the Knowledge-Driven Health Transition in Europe," Economics Series Working Papers Number85, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
  20. Jane Humphries, 2011. "The Lure of Aggregates and the Pitfalls of the Patriarchal Perspective: A Critique of the High Wage Economy Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _091, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  21. Horrell, Sara & Meredith, David & Oxley, Deborah, 2009. "Measuring misery: Body mass, ageing and gender inequality in Victorian London," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 93-119, January.
  22. Simon C. Holmes & Florian Ploeckl, 2012. "Bank on Steel? Joint-stocks and the Rationalisation of the British Interwar Steel Industry," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _093, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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