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Labour market in the Catalan cotton textile sector: Employment and fertility (1850-1913)
Camps, Enriqueta
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
This paper deals whit the dynamics of the Catalan textile labour market (theSpanish region that concentrated most of the industrial and factory activity duringthe 19 Century) and offers hypotheses and results on the impact it had on livingstandards and fertility levels. We observe the formation of an uneven labourmarket in which male supply for labour (excluding women and children) grewmuch faster than the demand. We stress the fact that labour supply is verydependant on institutional factors liked to the transmition of household propertybetween generations. Instead the slow path of growth of adult males demand forlabour is witnessing the limits of this industry to expand and to compete ininternational markets. The strategy of working class families to adapt to scarceopportunities of employment we document here is the diminution of legitimatefertility levels. Fertility control is the direct instrument we think workers have tocontrol their number in a situation that was likely to create labour surpluses in theshort and mid run.
Economic and Business History
labour market
female employment
children employment
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