East of Eden: Polish living standards in a European perspective, ca. 1500-1800

Number: 
43
Author: 
Malinowski, M.

This research contributes to the debate on economic growth and incomeinequalities in early modern Europe by estimating real wages expressed in subsistence-ratios in the rural and urban sectors of the Kingdom of Poland. Furthermore, a method of weighting the wages with data on the employment structure is outlined and implemented. A comparison of the Polish-weighted real wages with the English and Italian suggests two waves of supremacy of the North Sea Region. The first divergence occurred prior to the early modern period and the second resumed in the 17th century. The paper incorporates non-wage-earning farmers and agricultural workers paid partially in kind into the analytical framework.