Strasbourg wages, 1675 to 1760

In the course of my doctoral thesis, I have collected data of relevance to compare living standards across the Americas by including Canada before 1760. Since it was colonized mostly by French settlers until the King of France ceded it to the British, Canada had to be compare with France as well.

In the process of preparing the comparisons, I opted to use the prices and wages available for Paris and Strasbourg amassed by Robert Allen. However, in the process, I have noticed that these wages are too low. This is a result of the nature of the wages used.

In essence, the problem has been a misunderstanding of the french term used to designate unskilled workers. The term gâcheur does not refer to unskilled construction workers, but rather to workers who were carpenters and highly skilled. They also probably earned wages in kind which were not accounted for in the original data. I have attached to this post the images of the dictionaries where this is properly specified. For a longer discussion of this problem, more information can be found here in my working paper here.

AllenStrasbourg1

AllenStrasbourg2

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