DP14651 Working for a Living? Women and Children's Labour Inputs in England, 1260-1850
|Author(s):||Sara Horrell, Jane Humphries, Jacob Weisdorf|
|Publication Date:||April 2020|
|Keyword(s):||Child labour, Consumption Smoothing, Costs-of-Living, Dependency Ratio, Life Cycle, living standards, Poor Relief, prices, wages|
|JEL(s):||J22, N13, O10|
|Programme Areas:||Economic History|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14651|
We consider the living standards, supplies of child-labour, and poor-relief needs among intact and broken working-class families of various sizes in historical England. We estimate family incomes without resort to the usual day wages and ahistorical assumptions about male labour inputs. We also incorporate women and children's wages and labour alongside consumption smoothing using a life-cycle approach. Living standards varied considerably over time and by family structure and dependency ratio. Small and intact families enjoyed high and rising living standards after 1700. Large and broken families depended on child labour and poor relief up until 1830.