In Labour's Reward, leading international scholars present time series analyses of prices, wages, earnings and real wages in European countries and regions from the beginning of the 19th century to the final decade of the 20th century. The volume features original analysis and important new data on Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia. The introduction surveys the general study of real wages and economic development, emphasizing methodological and theoretical difficulties as well as making a series of international comparisons. Issues raised in these papers include the connection between real wages and general economic development, productivity growth, regional labour mobility, wage dispersion, social unrest and labour market disturbances. Methodological issues, such as the weighting of aggregate indices, are also discussed. A standardization appendix with nominal wages and cost-of-living indices for eleven countries, as well as a comprehensive bibliography, conclude the volume.
This important book will be welcomed both as a substantial contribution to European economic and social history, and for the insights it offers to current debates on income distribution and the standard of living.