Robert Allen characterized the region of Strasbourg in France in the period before 1789 as exceptionally poor. New evidence suggests, however, that Allen underestimated wage levels because of a failure to include payments in-kind and to clarify the differences between skilled and unskilled workers. Moreover, his wages came from a region that is wider than Strasbourg per se. The use of wage data for the agricultural sector that were higher in nominal terms than Allen’s, with reference to regions like Paris and southern England, elevates the economic standing of Strasbourg and, by extension, that of France.

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