Urban Labour Markets in Europe and North America, World Economic History Congress

Histoire Eco
Association Française d’Histoire Économique (AFHE).

Urban Labour Markets in Europe and North America, XVth-XXIth Century

XVIIth World Economic History Congress



Coord. : Isidro Dubert (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela), Florent Le Bot (UMR 8533, IDHES, Cachan), Thierry Nootens (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Yvan Rousseau (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières)
Lugar de celebración:
Kyoto International Conference Center

Programme TRAVAIL


In recent years historians from different European and American countries have been showing a growing interest in the study of different aspects related to the working of urban labour markets notably in a territories economic history perspective. Among other aspects, the purpose of this session would be to compare and discuss the results obtained at seminars held previously with those provided by researchers who have studied the subject in North America and in the North and Eastern of Europe. The aim is to include these matters in a global history view: the study of labor markets in a long term, articulating local and national or international dynamics. The objective is to give us a global comparison between different processes (economic, social and demographic) that have had an impact on the formation and development of the labour market. The perspective of Japanese and Asian experts on these issues will be welcomed for extend those analysis.

What was the role of urban labour markets in the make-up of migration flows from the countryside into the city? What were the main labour niches for urban immigrants and what kind of work did they do in the city? Did urban labour markets make integration into the social life of the city any easier for the newcomers? What kind of life, family and labour pattern did people have in urban labour markets? What was social mobility within the different urban labour markets, how was it articulated and how was it formed?

Our intention in the session is to answer these questions and others related to the existence and functioning of urban labour markets in Europe and North America from the XVth to the XXIth century. We will take into account the fact that not all urban labour markets were of the same nature or structure, and not all of them were subject to the same transformation and evolution over time.

From this point of view, we will welcome papers which aim to determine whether the labour opportunities that immigrants came across in urban labour markets worked as a factor for integration, expulsion, promotion or marginalization in the city; the way in which the markets affected or conditioned the development of people’s life cycles or family lives and family assets; the social, family and demographic implications deriving from the appearance of new professions and from the medium and long-term transformations that urban labour markets underwent; the relationship that existed between labour logic and social and/or family logic; the links or interactions produced between work, whether paid or not, and people’s family and personal or social expectations; social mobility, its intensity, its mechanisms, its changes and permanence within the framework of urban labour markets; what the networks and mechanisms for social and labour promotion and stability were, and how they worked; the effects of the appearance of new trades and social and labour dynamics; the precarious nature of labour and its medium and long-term effects on the social, family and demographic plane, etc.



Introduction (Claude Didry & Florent Le Bot)

Session 1

1. Matthieu Sherman: Migration and Social Mobility: Urban Labour Markets’ cornerstones? Glances from a Small Italian City in the XVth Century.
2. Isidro Dubert, Labor markets and social mobility in urban Galicia (Northwest Spain), 1844-1920).
3. Yvan Rousseau : Adapting to urban life in the small industrial centres of Quebec’s St. Lawrence Valley, 1880-1930: Questions, hypotheses and preliminary data

Session 2

1. Corine Maitte: Craft migrations, urban labour market and integration in the city of the glassmakers, XVIth-XVIIth centuries
2.Thierry Nootens: Contract, ‘Privileges’ and the Unprivileged: Wage Labour and the Civil Code of Lower Canada (Quebec), 1866-1900

Session 3

1. Cristina Borderías, Angels Solà: Gender Gap in the Urban Labour Market integration. Barcelona XVIIIth-XXth century.
2. Manuela Martini: Displacing south-Europeans workers in Western Europe. Migrants, intermediaries and the organization of gendered lbour flow in the XXth century.


Discussants are Pr. Kentaro SAITO, Pr. Shinji Sugayama, Pr. Chiaki Yamamoto, and Dr. Pierre-Yves Donzé.