Wednesday, December 10, 2014

British Money Wages in the 1873–1896 Deflation

The graph below shows an index of average British money wages from 1850 to 1902, but in which the trend for the 1873 to 1896 era of price deflation can also be seen (with data from Wood 1909: 102–103).

As we can see, despite the era of strong price deflation, nominal wages either stayed fairly stable or even rose, apart from the notable initial fall in the 1875 to 1879 period. Even in the recessions of 1884–1885 and 1891–1893, money wages almost stayed level.

With price deflation it is no wonder contemporary business people were complaining of a “profit deflation” by the late 1880s.

Further Reading
“Saul’s The Myth of the Great Depression, 1873–1896,” December 8, 2014

“Robert Giffen on the Deflation of 1873–1896,” December 7, 2014.

“Alfred Marshall on Business Confidence,” December 3, 2014.

“Alfred Marshall on Wage Stickiness and Debt Deflation,” November 30, 2014.

“The Profit Deflation of the 1890s,” June 13, 2013.

“Alfred Marshall’s Judgement on the “Depression” of 1873–1896,” June 13, 2013.

“S. B. Saul on the Profit Deflation of the 1873–1896 Period,” June 14, 2013.

“Alfred Marshall on the Deflation of 1873–1896,” October 14, 2014.

“Alfred Marshall’s Interest Rate Theory,” November 3, 2014.

Wood, George H. 1909. “Real Wages and the Standard of Comfort since 1850,” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 72: 91–103.

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