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Mexico's Real Wages in the Age of the Great Divergence, 1730-1930

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Article of journalChallú, Amílcar E.; Gómez-Galvarriato, Aurora. (Bowling Green State Univ., Estados Unidos;El Colegio de México). Mexico's Real Wages in the Age of the Great Divergence, 1730-1930.  / Los salarios reales de México en la era de la Gran Divergencia, 1730-1930 Revista de Historia Económica. Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, 2015 vol. 33 no. 1 p. 83-122. Keywords:
Economy, Companies, Industry | History
Salarios reales; precios; índices de bienestar; niveles de vida
19th century | 18th century | 20th century


This study builds the first internationally comparable index of real wages for Mexico City bridging the 18th and the early 20th century. Real wages started out in relatively high international levels in the mid 18th century, but declined from the late 1770s on, with some partial and temporal rebounds after the 1810s. After the 1860s, real wages recovered and eventually reached 18th-century levels in the early 20th century. Real wages of Mexico City’s workers subsequently fell behind those of high-wage economies to converge with the lower fringes of middle-wage economies. The age of the global Great Divergence was Mexico’s own age of stagnation and decline relative to the world economy.

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