Nominal wages and consumer prices in 18 German cities, 1500-1850

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Pfister, Ulrich (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Historisches Seminar)
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • History
    • Economics
  • Abstract

    “This study uses price information relating to 12 towns and wage information from 18 towns to develop a real wage index for unskilled urban labourers in Germany during the three-and-a-half centuries preceding the onset of rapid industrialization. Combining the new series with information from other parts of Europe establishes two stages of real wage divergence during the seventeenth to nineteenth century. The first occurred in the middle of the seventeenth century when real wages in centres of trade and finance located on the rim of the North Sea rose far above the level prevailing in their hinterland. The second stage unfolded from the second quarter of the eighteenth century when the real wage in south England, northern and central Italy, and Germany began to diverge; Germany followed a middle path between the other two countries. The second commercial revolution, which improved business techniques and promoted Smithian growth, goes a long way towards accounting for this development.” (Pfister 2017)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1500-01-01 / 1850-12-31
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 1480
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8636 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Pfister, Ulrich (2017): The timing and pattern of real wage divergence in pre-industrial Europe: evidence from Germany, 1500-1850. In: Economic History Review. doi:10.1111/ehr.12419

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 15 | Registration Date: 2017-06-28