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Roman Real Wages in Context

9 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2010  

Walter Scheidel

Stanford University

Date Written: August 23, 2010


This paper presents and discusses evidence of real incomes in the Roman period. It shows that real wages rose in response to demographic contractions. There is no evidence that would support the assumption that Roman economic growth raised real wages for workers. However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence: relevant data are scarce and highly unevenly distributed in time and space.

Keywords: Real wages, Roman economy

JEL Classification: J30, N33

Suggested Citation

Scheidel, Walter, Roman Real Wages in Context (August 23, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Walter Scheidel (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-2145
United States

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