University of Cambridge > > Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminars > Skill, work and pay in London building trades, 1660 - 1790

Skill, work and pay in London building trades, 1660 - 1790

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This paper uses the archival records of some of London’s major seventeenth century building projects to show the scale and scope of building contracting and contractors in the long eighteenth century, and how skill was deployed and valued in the resulting hierarchies and networks. Although it is frequently assumed building craftsmen worked in small artisan teams in this period the evidence shows that with large market and project expansion, contractors and subcontractors used complex and flexible organizational hierarchies that responded to market forces and transaction costs. I examine human capital inputs to the building process at all levels, design, administration, supply, construction, and across a number of trades and show evidence of shifts in relative reward for different groups.

This talk is part of the Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminars series.

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