Wages and Heights in Eighteenth and Early Nineteeth Hispanic America

43 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2010  

Héctor García

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rafael Dobado Gonzáles

Universidad Complutense Madrid - Department of Economic History

Date Written: January 27, 2010

Abstract

This basically empirical paper departs from an authoritative neo-institutional scholarship since it merely attempts at exploring and widening the limited available quantitative evidence on wages (nominal and real) and on physical statures in Bourbon Hispanic America. While we take advantage of other authors’ works on prices and wages, our significant sample of heights constitutes an original contribution to a field that has not yet received the attention it deserves. In our interpretation, the evidence collected challenges widespread and influential ideas about the standard of living of labourers and about the economic inequality in some of the American territories of the Hispanic Monarchy. From an international comparative perspective, neither real wages, especially in terms of a superior good such as meat, were as low nor heights as short as many scholars assume. Therefore, long run inferences on the economic consequences of the “colonial legacy” that are based on those ill-founded assumptions should be reconsidered.

Keywords: Colonial Latin America, inequality, biological well-being, real wages, standards of living

JEL Classification: I30, J30, N16, N36

Suggested Citation

García, Héctor and Dobado Gonzáles, Rafael, Wages and Heights in Eighteenth and Early Nineteeth Hispanic America (January 27, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1543056 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1543056

Héctor García

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rafael Dobado Gonzáles (Contact Author)

Universidad Complutense Madrid - Department of Economic History ( email )

School of Business Administration
Somosaguas Campus
Madrid, Madrid 28223
Spain

Paper statistics

Downloads
38
Abstract Views
509