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Re-reading "A Farewell To Alms"

2012-09-28 03:31:08.166485+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Re-reading "A Farewell To Alms". English agricultural workers in 1650 made half of what they were making in 1400.

[ related topics: Books: A Farewell to Alms ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2012-09-28 13:06:45.368294+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yep, that's a big part of it. Famine and plague raise standards of living. And, as he says on p35, about governments in the context of Malthusian models:

But all increases in death rates make societies better off in material terms. Here "bad" government actually makes people better off in material terms, though with a reduced life expectancy. Good governments — those that, for example, store grains in public granaries a s a hedge against harvest failures, as in some periods in Imperial Rome and late Imperial China — just make life more miserable by reducing the periodic death rate from famines at any given average material living standard.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-09-28 08:20:50.881182+00 by: spc476

I think the Black Death might have had an effect on wages, seeing how nearly half the European population was wiped out in the mid 1300s (and it took over a century for the population to spring back).