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Work and Pay in 20th Century Britain$
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Nicholas Crafts, Ian Gazeley, and Andrew Newell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212668

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212668.001.0001

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Living standards

Living standards

(p.11) 1 Living standards
Work and Pay in 20th Century Britain

Nicholas Crafts (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter seeks to answer the question: how much did average British living standards increase during the 20th century? The goal is not to explain the trends but to explore the difficulties of measurement. Some attention will be given to dispersion around the average. It is shown that average living standards rose substantially during the 20th century. This rate of advance far outstripped that of any previous period, with real wages growing at over 1% per year during the first half of the century despite the depression and two world wars, and at about 2% per year in the second half.

Keywords:   Britain, standard of living, living standards, real wages, real earnings, health, poverty

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