Chapter

Real Wages in Europe and Asia: A First Look at the Long-Term Patterns

Robert C. Allen

in Living Standards in the Past

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199280681
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602467 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199280681.003.0006
 Real Wages in Europe and Asia: A First Look at the Long-Term Patterns

Show Summary Details

Preview

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, wage rates in Japan, India, and China were lower than their counterparts in Europe when the wages are compared at the exchange rates implied by the silver contents of coins. The cost of living was also lower in Asia than in Europe. The purchasing power of Asian wages was similar to that of wages in France, Italy, and Germany but less than the purchasing power of wages in the leading economies—England and the Netherlands. Real wage comparisons contradict the opinions of Smith, Malthus, and Marx that Europe was more prosperous than Asia before the industrial revolution.

Keywords: Akbar; China; England; India; Japan; Real wage; silver wage; standard of living; subsistence wage

Chapter.  7183 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.