ProjectPRIME 2022 - Fellow Dr. Bruno Witzel (Host: Prof. Dr. Jörg Baten)

Basic data

PRIME 2022 - Fellow Dr. Bruno Witzel (Host: Prof. Dr. Jörg Baten)
01/10/2022 to 31/03/2024
Abstract / short description:
This project will explore wage differences were for various categories of laborers in one of the most important plantations in Brazilian history. In three papers, I will address the questions of (1) labor productivity and remuneration; (2) income availability, nutrition, and access to basic consumables; and (3) morbidity and access to health services between households with different ethnolinguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Two overarching goals connect these papers. First, the project aims to be a methodological contribution to the use of historical microdata in assessing long-run metrics of wellbeing. The goal is to use an innovative source (in this case, historical rural accounting) to fill important gaps in our knowledge of living standards at the microeconomic level, an issue that a number of research groups has been tackling lately, including the Historical Household Budgets (A’Hearn et al. 2016), the Maddison Project (Bolt et al. 2018; Palma 2019), and the Structural Transformation and Economic Growth Initiative (Lagakos and Shu 2021). Second, this data-intensive exploration in the overlapping fields of Economic History and Development Economics aims at explaining the origins and perpetuating dynamics of inequality from 1850 to 1950. Even if this project covers a different period than the following studies, it will fill in an urgent gap, namely the inclusion of a Brazilian case study to the debates of economic divergence in labor remuneration and wellbeing in the Americas (Abad et al. 2012; Allen et al. 2012). The use of high-frequency microdata will also complement the macroeconomic aggregates that Ball (2018) and Zamberlan Pereira (2019) compiled for Brazil and regions therein.
labor productivity, income availability, nutrition

Involved staff


Department of Economics
Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Local organizational units

Department of Economics
Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
University of Tübingen


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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