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Reassessment of German aggregate wage earnings in the long run

Neubewertung der kumulierten langfristigen Lohneinkommen in Deutschland
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Diebolt, Claude

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Abstract 'This article produces a new estimate of aggregate wage earnings in Germany from 1810 to 1989. Wages play a fundamental role in the determination of economic equilibria. They form an essential component of household incomes and have a direct effect in the setting of final demand and savings. Determinants in company production costs, their movements affecting the behaviour of businesses in price setting, employment and investment. Their multiple effects on physical flows and on monetary magnitudes mean that wages and the way in which they are set are central to the short-term regulation and long-term evolution of developed capitalist economies. However, in Germany for example, although the statistics on wages and the occupations of workers are plentiful and varied, their heterogeneity and the gaps in them mean that it is not possible to obtain a rapid and accurate appraisal of the mass of wages distributed over a long period. The difficulties increase further when breakdowns that display a degree of aggregation are required for specific subgroups: occupational sectors, professional categories, regions, etc. Taking up this point, this article has one main purpose. It aims at developing a reassessment of the long-term movements of wages and wage-earners and thus to obtain an original estimate of aggregate wage earnings in Germany from 1810 to 1989. The points are addressed in three parts. The first defines the concept of wages. The second presents the spatial field covered. The third describes the methodological constraints and shows our cliometric results.' (text extract)|
Keywords aggregate data; aggregation; statistics; historical analysis; wage; income; development; conception; Germany; statistical method; nineteenth century; twentieth century
Classification Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods; Sociology of Economics; Social History, Historical Social Research
Method basic research; development of methods; historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 351-358
Journal Historical Social Research, 33 (2008) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works