Local minimum wages in Germany, 1885-1914

This dataset contains the ‘ortsüblichen Tagelohn gewöhnlicher Tagearbeiter’ (customary local daily wage of ordinary day laborers), which was determined by the German administration in consultation with local authorities and companies when calculating sickness benefits after the introduction of nationwide statutory health insurance in 1883. It was therefore not an average wage, but the lowest wage paid, which interestingly also took into account non-monetary wage benefits. As it was collected nationwide according to uniform criteria, it offers, in comparison with price data, the possibility of determining and comparing real wages and the standard of living in Germany at a very detailed local level. The data set presented here is limited to the reproduction of daily wages for 210 cities; hundreds of other smaller municipalities are listed in the sources cited.

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