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Real wages and labor productivity in Britain and Germany, 1871–1938: a unified approach to the international comparison of living standards

By Stephen Broadberry and Carsten Burhop


Throughout the period 1871–1938, the average British worker was better off than the average German worker, but there were significant differences between major sectors. For the aggregate economy, the real wage gap was about the same as the labor productivity gap, but again there were important sectoral differences. Compared to their productivity, German industrial workers were poorly paid, whereas German agricultural and service sector employees were overpaid. This affected the competitiveness of the two countries in these sectors. There were also important differences in comparative real wages by skill level, affecting the extent of poverty

Topics: DA Great Britain, DD Germany, HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S0022050710000331
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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