Global textile wages collection

28 March 2024

This collection contains datasets with textile workers’ wages for India (1911-1944), the United Kingdom (1833, 1886, 1906), and the United States (1907-1932). They contain information on wages for workers in various stages of the production process, from cleaning fibers to bleaching and dyeing cloth. Note that most observations concern laborers who used mechanized production methods in a factory setting. The datasets can be used to investigate, among others, regional variation in wages and occupational segregation between men and women. For extensive explanations of the datasets and the underlying sources, please consult the accompanying manuals.

We envision this collection to be merely the beginning of a much bigger collection of datasets from other countries and time periods. Scholars who have built similar datasets are invited to submit their work with an accompanying manual to have it published on this website. The requirements for a published dataset are as follows:

  • One single dataset should pertain to wages from one country, unless (parts of) that country belonged to other national units through time.
  • Every dataset should contain a clear codebook and source references for every observation.
  • Only observations of wages for people who worked in the textile production process can be included, from cleaning fibers to folding finished cloth and everything in between. Related jobs, such as cleaners and genitors, can also be included.
  • We include all types of materials of which yarn and cloth can be produced, among which cotton, wool, silk, and flax.
  • Every wage observation should at least contain the following information: 1) location, 2) occupational title (even if it is a broad description such as ‘textile laborer’) , 3) currency of the wage, and 4) the time unit in which the wage was earned (day/week/month/etc.). Preferably, every observation additionally contains the following information: 1) the type of material (cotton, wool, etc.), 2) time or piece wage, 3) gender of the laborer, 4) age of the laborer, and 5) number of laborers on which every observation is based.

If you are interested in publishing your dataset here, please contact Corinne Boter ([email protected]).

Dataset Textile Wages (in Excel)
Manual to the dataset (in PDF)

United Kingdom
Dataset Textile Wages (in Excel)
Manual to the dataset (in PDF)

United States
Dataset Textile Wages (in Excel)
Manual to the dataset (in PDF)

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