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Title: The organisation of work and wages in the London building trades in the long eighteenth century
Author: Stephenson, Judy
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 8043
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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The wage data that economic historians rely on for calculating key economic indicators and living standards across Europe are all derived from records of building craftsmen and labourers’ pay. Existing series suggest wages in London were substantially higher than in other European centres from 1650 to 1800, and current accepted theories ascribe Britain’s early industrialisation to the products and incentives of this wage structure. But the period after the Restoration was one of prodigious building in London, and of organisational change in the construction trades. This thesis examines the contractual and organisational context in which building craftsmen and labourers operated and shows that the nature of the ‘day rates’ used to construct wage series in London and England has been misunderstood. As a result, wages and real wages have been overstated for England throughout the long eighteenth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions