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Ireland: A New Economic History 1780–1939$
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Cormac Gráda Ó

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205982.001.0001

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Living Standards after the Famine

Living Standards after the Famine

(p.236) 10 Living Standards after the Famine
Ireland: A New Economic History 1780–1939

Cormac Ó Gráda

Oxford University Press

The Great Famine of Ireland improved the lot of most people who survived. Wages rose significantly in the wake of the crisis, and neither exogenous price changes nor agricultural improvement can fully account for this. However, the famine alone would have provided only temporary relief from growing population pressure. The rise in wages persisted: Bowley's indices of nominal farm labourers' wages more than doubled between 1850 and 1894. In the three southern provinces, the rise was particularly striking in 1830–70, and the data point to a fairly steady decline in regional wage dispersion in the Irish agricultural labour market. This chapter discusses trends in living standards in Ireland after the Great Famine, including those for consumption, incomes, savings, literacy, housing, life expectancy, body mass index, and birth weight.

Keywords:   Ireland, Great Famine, living standards, wages, incomes, savings, consumption, literacy, housing, life expectancy

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