Real Wages and Labour Productivity in Britain and Germany, 1871-1938: A Unified Approach to the International Comparison of Living Standards
LSE - London
Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2009/18
Throughout the period 1871-1938, the average British worker was better off than the average German worker, but there were significant differences between major sectors. For the aggregate economy, the real wage gap was about the same as the labour productivity gap, but again there were important sectoral differences. Compared to their productivity, German industrial workers were poorly paid, whereas German agricultural and service sector employees were overpaid. This affected the competitiveness of the two countries in these sectors. There were also impor-tant differences in comparative real wages by skill level, affecting the extent of poverty.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: Economic history, Britain, Germany, Real wages
JEL Classification: N13, N33, E24working papers series
Date posted: June 22, 2009
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