A Short History of Builders’ Wages in Economic History
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Throughout history, construction workers not only built many of the landmarks of modern day London but, unknowingly, gave us the building blocks for the methods most widely used to evaluate the economic performance of the past. Economic historians have a long studied the pay of construction workers, but their sources and methods are not well understood. This chapter gives a concise history of early modern and pre-industrial builder’s wage sources and their conversion to wage series. It introduces the idea that there has been a serious misapprehension of those sources which has influenced our understanding of early modern wages.