Carmen Sarasua

2018-2021 Occupational Structure and Income in the Long Run: Redefining Economic Modernization and Living Standards in Spain, 1750-1975, principal investigator: C. Sarasúa, financed by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (HAR2017-85601-C2-1-P)

The standard interpretation of economic modernization, based on the concept of structural change in GDP and employment (Kuznets), argues that the portion of a population occupied in non-agricultural activities begins to grow as a result of industrialization. Thus, Spain’s delayed industrial growth would be reflected not only in its large agrarian share of GDP but also in its heavily agrarian share of employment, which only fell below 50 percent in the 1920s. This interpretation has endured because the sources on which it is based—population censuses, beginning in 1877—exclude the majority of women’s work. When women's work is taken into account, not only does the total occupied population grow, but also the relative weights of the economic sectors change, since women were concentrated in non-agrarian occupations: manufacturing (particularly, textiles) and services (especially domestic service and retail sales).

In recent years, research groups across Europe have begun to recover and analyze evidence of women's occupations in pre-industrial labor markets. With this international context and the ongoing debate on modernization as its starting points, this project aims to describe how structural change in employment took place in Spain. We have a number of goals. First, we will reconstruct the occupations of the Spanish population before, during, and after industrialization, particularly for women and children. Second, we will use the PSTI system to codify our databases of historical occupations, which will allow us to cross reference the occupations with demographic, wage, and educational indicators, thus facilitating international comparisons. Third, we will examine the importance of textile manufactures in rural Spain and, therefore, the extent to which the share of non-agricultural employment was actually higher in the 18th century than in the 19th century. Fourth, we will extend the research on historical wages, moving from the individual wage to family income as the ideal variable for identifying trends in inequality and poverty. Fifth, we will construct a series of nominal wages for a particular occupation of women—wet nurse of foundling hospital—whose wages are not affected by the methodological problems that hamper studies on historical wages. Sixth, we will study the extent of ‘pluriactivity’, especially with regard to seasonal and temporary migrations, which contributed greatly to family income and yet remain poorly understood and little studied.

2014-2018 Wages, Women's Participation and Living Standards, 1750-1950, principal investigator: C. Sarasúa, financed by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (HAR2013-47277-C2-1-P)

2010-2012 Reconstructing Women’s Activity Rates in Spain, 18th and 19th Centuries, principal investigator: C. Sarasúa, financed by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (HAR2009-11709)

2010-2011 Reconstructing Women’s Activity Rates in the Territories of the Crown of Aragón, 1716-1816, principal investigator: C. Sarasúa, financed by Institut Català de les Dones (U-35/10)

2010 Reconstructing The Female Labor Force Participation Rate in Western Europe, 18th and 19th Centuries, convenor: C. Sarasúa (co-convenor: J. Humphries), Exploratory Workshop, financed by European Science Foundation (Standing Committee for Social Sciences)

2009-2013 Economic Institutions, Living Standards, Environment, principal investigator: C. Sarasúa, Research Group (SGR 962), financed by AGAUR

2005-2010 Gender and Well-Being: Interactions between Work, Family and Public Policies (COST-A34), principal investigator: C. Borderías, financed by European Science Foundation (ESF) and European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST)

2003-2005 Women's Work and Union Participation during Franco's Dictatorship (1940-1980), principal investigator: C. Sarasúa, financed by Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales +

2001-2004 The Socio-Economic Role of Domestic Service as a Factor in European Identity, principal investigator: A. Fauve-Chamoux, financed by European Commission

2001-2003 Tensions of Europe: Technology and the Making of 20th-Century Europe, principal investigator: J. Schot, financed by European Science Foundation

1993-1995 Gender and the Construction of Working Time, principal investigators: O. Hufton and Y. Kravaritou, financed by European Commission, DG VII