Wednesday 18 March 2020
16.30 - 18.30
Approaching Living Standards using Household Budgets from a Gender Prospective
P.J. Veth, 1.01
Cristina Borderias :
Family Budgets during the First Third of the Twentieth Century in Urban Spain
Family and Demography
Luisa Muñoz Abeledo
The historic production of family budgets was sparse in the history of Spain. Statistics do not offer systematically family budget data about it up to 1958 (first Family Budget Survey). The majority of available family budgets were published by the Institute of Social Reforms (1904-1924), the Labor Inspection (1907-1923), the ... (Show more)
The historic production of family budgets was sparse in the history of Spain. Statistics do not offer systematically family budget data about it up to 1958 (first Family Budget Survey). The majority of available family budgets were published by the Institute of Social Reforms (1904-1924), the Labor Inspection (1907-1923), the Ministry of Labor (1914-1930), the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce (1848-1930), the Municipal Statistical Administrations (1904-1930) and Worker’s organizations (1880-1936). Spanish historiography has used some of them on a local (Borderías, López Guallar 2001, 2003) or regional basis (Borderías&Muñoz-Abeledo 2018; as well as for some specific rural or industrial working-class groups (Deu, 1987; Ballesteros, 1997a y 1997b; Lana Berasain, 2002 y 2007; Colome, Saguer, Vicedo 2002; Garrabou, Ramon-Muñoz, Tello, 2015; Pérez- Castroviejo, 1992, 2006; Escudero y Pérez Castroviejo, 2010). In this paper, we will present new evidences on men and women daily wages and estimation of the annual income of different occupational groups of the working-class in all Spanish provincial capitals (1900-1930). We also will calculate the minimum cost of the working class family basket (food, cloth, housing and other expenses). Analysis of food consumption has taking into account nutritional requirements to meet basic human needs and to sustain an adult active men, women and children. We aim to estimate the capacity of men wages to sustain the family and the contribution of women to the family economy. (Show less)
Corinne Boter :
Living Standards and the Household Life-cycle in Netherland
In the past decade, Robert Allen’s method of calculating ‘welfare ratios’ – that show whether one man’s wage could purchase sufficient consumption baskets for himself, his wife, and two children – has been adopted by scholars researching historical living standards in various parts of the world. This method is ... (Show more)
In the past decade, Robert Allen’s method of calculating ‘welfare ratios’ – that show whether one man’s wage could purchase sufficient consumption baskets for himself, his wife, and two children – has been adopted by scholars researching historical living standards in various parts of the world. This method is worthwhile because it enables them to “maintain the international comparability and temporal consistency of [...] real wage series.” Indeed, thanks to this method, we now better understand the world-wide development of living standards and inequality during the past four centuries. This method has nevertheless been criticized because, among other problems, it is built on unrealistic assumptions about family size. For instance, nineteenth-century English families were usually much larger than Allen assumes. Therefore, additional research on the relationship between family size and real wages is necessary to better understand historical household living standards.
This paper calculates the welfare ratio’s of Dutch rural and urban households during the nineteenth century, accounting for changes in household size and consumption during the life-cycle. It shows that welfare ratio’s – based on one man’s wage as the sole source of income – of most households dropped below the subsistence level when there were multiple children present. This was especially true in rural regions where wages were relatively low. Therefore, during the major part of their life-cycle, households were likely to generate other types of income next to the husband’s wage such as women’s and children’s wage labour or subsistence agriculture. This paper further calculates alternative welfare ratio’s by calculating the absolute and relative values of these additional incomes.
Allen, R. C., Bassino, J.-P., Ma, D., Moll-Murata, C. and van Zanden, J. L., 'Wages, Prices and Living Standards in China, 1738-1925: in Comparison with Europe, Japan, and India', Economic History Review 64, no. 1 (2011), pp. 8-38.
Frankema, E. and van Waijenburg, M., 'Structural Impediments to African Growth? New Evidence from Real Wages in British Africa, 1880-1965', Journal of Economic History 72, no. 4 (2012), pp. 895-926.
Humphries, J., 'The Lure of Aggregates and the Pitfalls of the Patriarchal Perspective: A Critique of the High Wage Economy Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution', Economic History Review 66, no. 3 (2013), pp. 693-714.
Schneider, E. B., 'Real Wages and the Family: Adjusting Real Wages to Changing Demography in Pre-Modern England', Explorations in Economic History 50, no. 1 (2013), pp. 99-115. (Show less)
Veronica Canal :
Family Income and Expenses in an Industrial and Fishing North Spanish Ports during Franco’s Regime
The objective of this paper is to reconstruct family budgets in the Spanish fishing port of Gijón in 1924. We want, first, to obtain nominal wage in this decade aamong different sectors for this city-port; second, to analyse the wage gender gap and to know the women and children contribution ... (Show more)
The objective of this paper is to reconstruct family budgets in the Spanish fishing port of Gijón in 1924. We want, first, to obtain nominal wage in this decade aamong different sectors for this city-port; second, to analyse the wage gender gap and to know the women and children contribution to the family economies; third, once we know the family income, we want to reconstruct the family expenses in order to approach welfare levels during 1920s. In order to complete this exercise, we will take on account self-consume because Gijón at that time, was an industrial port but with very rural surroundings, where working families combined different activities: agrarian tasks with varied industrial activities (naval building, metal graphic industries, fish-processing, port activities, etc.). We will use many different sources: nominative population census in 1924, company data, and sociodemographic data from the municipality, workers associations’ documentation, and so on. (Show less)
Daniel Castillo Hidalgo :
The Living Conditions of Family Dockers at Dakar, 1910-1960
This paper deals with qualitative and quantitative analysis of living standards among Dockers working at the port of Dakar and the way how their families managed their incomes during the colonial age. This paper is focused on living standards and purchasing power among those urban workers building on welfare rates ... (Show more)
This paper deals with qualitative and quantitative analysis of living standards among Dockers working at the port of Dakar and the way how their families managed their incomes during the colonial age. This paper is focused on living standards and purchasing power among those urban workers building on welfare rates and the way how informal economies permitted the economic reproduction at the family-level. Thus, this paper explores the way how nominal wages were fixed in a low rate throughout the covered period. These wages were insufficient and strategies to struggle the colonial hegemony were deployed among those workers mainly during the inter-war period (Callebert, 2017; Castillo and Wélé, 2017; Crawford, 1994; Ndao, 2009). In addition, we essay to introduce the informal and invisible incomes obtained by other family members and the strategies of cooperation and solidarity among African labourers at the port. Main archival sources for this research have been obtained from the National Archives of Senegal (qualitative information, reports) and the Annuaires Statistiques de l´AOF and Senegal (living standards, prices evolution, etc.). (Show less)
Francesca Sanna :
Use of Family Budgets by European Mining Companies during the Interwar Period
The inter-war crisis is an interesting period for mining history, marked by the consequences of Black Thursday, but also by the fluctuation of mineral stock prices on the London market. At the same time, the inter-war period is also a moment of "transition" for this industry, from a technical and ... (Show more)
The inter-war crisis is an interesting period for mining history, marked by the consequences of Black Thursday, but also by the fluctuation of mineral stock prices on the London market. At the same time, the inter-war period is also a moment of "transition" for this industry, from a technical and technological point of view. Crisis and rationalization are linked one another in many ways because, clearly, they stressed the same issue : productivity. However, rationalization had a more
global scope, going beyond the technique to become a sort theoretical principle.
The idea of total and scientific control of production and of workers was sometimes transferred to social life in order to optimize performances through a disciplinization of private life. In mining, where technical changes went along with a permanence of old habits, the attempts of controlling social life faced, however, some kind of resistance, that individuals and families carried out with the support of the community’s network. In this context, some companies, like Rio Tinto, Penarroya and the coal miners in the Northern France, tried to overcome this resistance by the “recoding” some traditional paternalistic practices. Among them, the instrument of family budget became essential to acquire information about the workforce and, at the same time, to control it socially and economically.
The logic that sustained these budgets were inherited by the Le Play model, in particular in the case of Penarroya, a Franco-spanish mining company lead by french educated engineers. The new ideas of scientific management modified the very core of these budgets in which some new “scientific” units of measurement were introduced. This is the case of the calculation of calories for establish the optimal diet against fatigue, or the correlation between the quantified performance at work and the marital status of a worker.
The construction and the use of these evaluations appear as a transitional step between the traditional way of manage the workforce in the XIXth century and a new “science” of labor management, that developed gradually during the XXth century. To this extent, mining history reveals some interesting case studies, especially in the Mediterranean area. These mining sites were smaller than the ones in Continental Europe (except for Spain), more isolated andsometimes organized in company towns. These characteristics made them perfect to become
laboratories for a new social ideology, that of the rationalization by “scientific management”.
In this contribution I would like, firstly, to examine how these budgets were created and used in a company village, born around a mining site owned by Penñarroya in Italy. During the interwar period, this village, located in a remote area of the Sardinia island, became a sort of feud in which engineers tried to create a perfect mining community regulated by the scientific principles of management, operated by paternalistic attitudes and practices. In a second part of this contribution, I would like to propose a reconstruction of the family budget of that community to show the gap between the “scientific” representation and the reality of its life. To do this, I will support my calculation on some surveys carried out in the interwar by Italian Parliament and on different archival sources, like the company store registers and some interviews to former miners and families carried out by an anthropologist during the 80s. The final purpose of the contribution is to open a discussion about different perspectives on historical forms (and uses) of family budgets, by using a comparative family budget analysis (Show less)