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City-Farm Wage Gaps in Late Nineteenth-Century France

  • Pierre Sicsic (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2009

Wage gaps between farm and city are used to assess whether industrialization in late nineteenth-century France was choked off by peasants' alleged reluctance to move. If industry suffered due to labor scarcity, wage gaps should have been large and rising. It turns out that the wage gap, when adjusted for costs of living and computed as an average of 20 regional wage gaps, was nil in 1852 and about 25 percent in 1892. Thus wage gaps were rising but were far smaller throughout the late nineteenth century than they were in England during similar stages of industrialization.

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Bertrand Gille , Les sources statistiques de l'histoire de France: Des enquêtes du XVIIIe siècle á 1870 (Geneva, 1980).

Timothy J. Hatton , and Jeffrey G. Williamson , “Wage Gaps between Farm and City: Michigan in the 1890s,” Explorations in Economic History, 28 (101991), pp. 381408.

Colin Heywood , “The Role of the Peasantry in French Industrialization, 1815–80,” The Economic History Review, 34 (081981), pp. 359–76.

Charles P. Kindleberger , Economic Growth in France and Britain, 1851–1950 (Cambridge, MA, 1964).

Jacques Rougerie , “Remarques sur l'histoire des salaires à Paris au XIXe siècle,” Le Mouvement Social (041968), pp. 71108.

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The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
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