Una de Cal y Otra de Arena: Building Comparable Real Wages in A Global Perspective

Robert C. Allen, Tommy E. Murphy, Eric B. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses some of the criticisms recently raised by Rafael Dobado-González about our work on real wages in the Americas in the long run. Although addressing a series of issues, Dobado mainly questions our use of the welfare ratio methodology to assess standards of living in colonial Spanish America. In this article we explain how, despite its limitations, this methodology provides a solid, transparent metric to compare economic development across space and time. In particular, welfare ratios present more economically relevant information on living standards than the commodity wages that Dobado prefers (Dobado González and García Montero 2014). We argue that Dobado fails to offer convincing evidence against our findings; hence, we stand by these results, which suggest that the divergence between North and Latin America began early in the colonial period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
JournalRevista de Historia Economica - Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 12 2015


  • América Latina
  • Gran Divergencia
  • Palabras clave historia económica
  • niveles de vida
  • salarios reales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Una de Cal y Otra de Arena: Building Comparable Real Wages in A Global Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this