Wage Structures and Family Economies in the Catalan Textile Industry in an Age of Nascent Capitalism


This paper deals with changes in managerial practices in Catalonia in an age of nascent capitalism (1830-1925) and adaptive family strategies in order to face the absence of state welfare. During the 19th Century and in the absence of recorded labor contracts, human resources of the firm were organized by means of implicit contracts and informal labor markets. With the advent of scientific organization of labor, wage per hour worked began to be recorded. This is why in the 1920s the perfect competition model applies to our case. On the other hand, in the same period, and in the absence of state welfare, ideas stemming from cooperative game theory apply to the pattern of household income formation. Kin related networks were used to improve the living standards of the household. In this particular direction we also show that there was a demonstration effect by means of which migrants' living standards were higher than those of natives.