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Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

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Friday 14 April 2023 16.30 - 18.30
J-12 RUR12 Inequality and Standards of Living from the 16th to 20th Century
B34
Network: Rural Chair: Jane Whittle
Organizers: - Discussant: Jane Whittle
Pietro Ficarra : Did Malthus Hang out in Venice? A Small-scale Analysis of the Relationship between Population and Resources across Renaissance Venice's Hinterland
My research addresses the etiology of famines by analysing the relationship between population and resources in mid-16th century Venice’s hinterland.

What sparked my interest is the theory claiming that mid-15th century demographic recovery along with long-term climate change put a growing strain on agriculture resulting in an increase in famines eventually ... (Show more)
My research addresses the etiology of famines by analysing the relationship between population and resources in mid-16th century Venice’s hinterland.

What sparked my interest is the theory claiming that mid-15th century demographic recovery along with long-term climate change put a growing strain on agriculture resulting in an increase in famines eventually peaked in 1580-1620. The theory stresses socio-institutional aspects as public intervention in crop allocation and agrarian innovations like the introduction of maize (Alfani 2015; Alfani - Mocarelli - Strangio 2015). However, when it comes to overall judgments the emphasis lays on the supposedly natural gap between demographic trend and production capacity, which is Malthusian in essence.

The theory mostly deals with the macro-regional scale of events, i.e. Northern-Italy. Although necessary at the outset, and crucial to historical comparisons, such approach often translates into a mere juxtaposition of demographic trends and famine frequency. Paradoxically enough, it seemingly leaves out a quantitative assessment of the actual ratios of supply needs to production capacity in given areas. Such assessment on a small and controllable scale is what I am aiming to.

Venice and its hinterland, roughly formed by Padua, Treviso and Rovigo districts, may prove a meaningful case study. High population density and urbanization rates, with mid-16th century Venice alone reaching a population of 170,000 while supposedly lacking a reliable countryside, can be regarded as going together with a high Malthusian risk. It has been argued that Venice’s empire, ranging from the gates of Asia to Sicily and Apulia granaries through Po Valley crop markets, was not just profitable but also vital in order to prevent a looming supply shortage along the 16th century. Only as the century comes to a close Venice’s mainland apparently proves able to almost meet supply needs due to a mostly extensive agricultural growth (Aymard 1966; Varanini 1996; Zanini 1999).

Mine is an attempt to assess the Malthusian risk by zooming in on mid-16th century Venice and its backyard, hypothetically assuming that the former had to rely entirely on the latter. It is worth seeing to which extent population actually outstripped local resources, and whether there existed a structural imbalance that only grain imports, namely maritime grain imports, could make up. (Show less)

Keisuke Moriya, Kenichi Tomobe : Anthropometrics and Rural Industrialization in Modern Japan based on Individual Data: the Effect of Taking Protein by Engaging in Sericulture and Carp-breeding on Heights of School Boys/girls
The purpose of our paper is to explain how children were feed in a peasant household under the Japanese stem family system, especially during the period of strong militarization, ca. early 20th century. And due to the availability of individual height data, we can look at short-term fluctuation of average ... (Show more)
The purpose of our paper is to explain how children were feed in a peasant household under the Japanese stem family system, especially during the period of strong militarization, ca. early 20th century. And due to the availability of individual height data, we can look at short-term fluctuation of average height of the same entrance/ birth cohort. This research project collects individual data of anthropometry such as height, and weight, health such as TB and tooth decay, attendance status and cognitive or academic performance booked for six years normally from 6 to 12 years old in the school registers, in Japanese Gakusekibo, ???. The individual data saved for 6 or 8 years are becoming short-term panel data by which we can know exactly how students grew during the period. This is different from other studies of anthropometric history done so far by historians. These individual data require careful handling because of privacy, and as a result the process of machine-readable data making and sorting can appear complicated. Especially, the data sorting looks delicate and can be done partly by PC but needs human eye at the last stage of data review.
Our research area is Zakouji village, located in Shimo-Ina region of southern Nagano prefecture. And Zakouji primary School also locates there to this day provided the needed school register data. Many of the people living in this area were peasants, and sericulture and carp-breeding were important side production for them. Peasants in this region as well as other regions of silk industry had experienced big damage of Cocoon disease and silk price fluctuations many times since the end of Edo period. At times of severe cocoon and silk production, carp production probably compensated for deficit income of peasant budget. The compensation was useful not only for economic damage but for nutritional deficiency of growing children.
In our previous analysis, we found that the average heights of all grades of the Zakouji students borne at 1912-1914 and 1918-1920 clearly declined due to the economic damage of lower local cocoon prices. And comparing height growth speed between eldest sons and other brothers, there was not clear difference of height growth speed between them. Rather in many cases the height growth speed of the eldest son looks lower than the average especially after nine years-old after when children started to become productive labor. So we would like to classify based on the background of individual students in the school registers, and select the typical individual cases. And we would like to explain the mechanism of intra-household allocation in the period of strong militarization, ca. early 20th century. (Show less)

Florian Probst, Oscar Dube : Inequality in German Wages, 17th to 19th Century
There is still uncertainty in economic history about whether and to what extent wages were subject to cultural patterns. For England, evidence suggests that real wages and wages gaps seem to have been determined mostly by market forces, but also customary employment patterns (Humphries & Weisdorf 2015; Burnette 2009, 2004; ... (Show more)
There is still uncertainty in economic history about whether and to what extent wages were subject to cultural patterns. For England, evidence suggests that real wages and wages gaps seem to have been determined mostly by market forces, but also customary employment patterns (Humphries & Weisdorf 2015; Burnette 2009, 2004; Horrell & Humphries 1995). In Germany, female labour participation was apparently heavily regulated, resulting in large artificial wage gaps (Ogilvie 2003). However, this pessimistic view stems largely from one case study, and little comparable data is available from other places in Germany, as there is generally only little detailed information on historical wages and female labour force participation outside of England.
Entangling cultural and market effects is also complicated by different methodological problems: First, it is difficult to find comparable occupations. While restrictions to education and training – one of the known main problems in Germany – are by themselves discriminatory, they weren’t necessarily relevant to large parts of the labour. Apart from such restrictions, we know little about wage gaps in Germany, especially for the rural area. Second, data often stems from long term contracts, where effects of gender roles and seniority are hard to distinguish from actual work requirements.
To expand on this debate and to offer a fresh approach, we present a unique collection of material on agricultural labour from different German farms from the 17th to 19th century, with wages on a daily and hourly basis. We use wages from agricultural work because in pre-modern Germany about 65 percent of the population worked in agriculture (Pfister 2022). The jobs are also easily comparable, as they hardly changed over the observation period, and labour assignments are well described in contemporary sources. Finally, levels of education or training were rather irrelevant to agricultural work (Mokyr 2002).
Thus, it is possible to test for the existence of age and gender-related discrimination in several ways: First, by comparing nominal wages of different individuals by days and hours, second by comparing renumeration to task requirements, and third by reconstructing gender and age-related employment patterns, that could explain wage differences on the aggregate level. Our data thus gives us a sharp picture distinguishing market-related effects from social effects. (Show less)

Petri Talvitie : From Court Cases to Household Budgets: a New Method to Study Rural Living Standards
This paper concentrates on rural labor in the late nineteenth century Finland seeking to analyse the impact of seasonality and short term contracts on the living standards of laboring households. Historical studies on agricultural wages and rural living standards are mostly based on data on daily wages, while the standard ... (Show more)
This paper concentrates on rural labor in the late nineteenth century Finland seeking to analyse the impact of seasonality and short term contracts on the living standards of laboring households. Historical studies on agricultural wages and rural living standards are mostly based on data on daily wages, while the standard of living depends on total annual earnings of an individual worker or working-class family. Different kinds of indirect methods, such as seasonal wage premiums or seasonality of marriages, have been used to estimate the variation in the number of annual workdays. The objective of this paper is to propose a new method to investigate the standard of living in rural areas by using litigation material. Court cases have been used before but to my knowledge only indirectly. The paper is based on direct evidence collected from the wage disputes between rural laborers and their employers, often owner-occupying farmers. The litigation material used in this paper consists of data on wages (including in kind wages), work assignments and the length of working spells. Sometimes the cases include information on housing conditions, such as room rents, as well as on subsistence agriculture. Overall, the data is fragmentary and incomplete but contains valuable information impossible to find elsewhere, and consequently, court cases offer new possibilities to analyse wage differentials between women and men, to reconstruct individual work histories and to calculate household budgets. Different methodological challenges related to the use of court cases will be discussed in the paper. The material is collected from the judicial district of Kuopio, situated in Eastern Finland where circa 40 per cent of rural households were agricultural worker households at the end of the nineteenth century. The court cases have been identified with the help of Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology. The data consists of over one thousand observation from the years 1840–1900. (Show less)



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