Andrea Caracausi

The just wages in the woolen manufactures of Padua and Florence between 16th and 17th century

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This article focuses on the role of justice in the definition of the just wage in woolen manufacturing in 16th and 17th century Padua and Florence on the basis of trials that took place in two guild courts. In the early modern era wage-formation eluded simple standardization and depended instead on several elements: individual elements, such as age and skills; or general, such as customs or institutions. In this context, the relation between employers and employees was the first, basic element. Legal proceedings in the guild courts showed how judges defined just wages on the basis of personal agreements (formal and informal), emphasizing the importance of private negotiation and contracts. On the other hand, these trials reveal also the role that social relations and integration in the urban context played in the recognition of the just wage, beyond a formally acquired social status.

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