Carmen Sarasua

(in preparation, 2019) (Editor), Wages paid by the city to the countryside. Rural wet-nurses of foundling hospitals in Spain, 1700-1900. Alicante: Publicaciones de la Universidad de Alicante.
Nominal wages pose a series of methodological problems that have traditionally difficulted their long-term comparative analysis, mainly differences in working time, monetary value of in-kind payments, and productivity. Despite this, historical research has again focused on wages in the last years, given their central role in the High Wage Economy vs. Low Wage Economy debate.
An occupation that exceptionally solves the methodological problems in the study of nominal wages is that of wet-nurses working at their rural homes for urban foundling hospitals. Their monthly wages are fully comparable between regions and countries, without problems of seasonality, working time, differences in productivity, or payments in kind.
This book, authored by researchers from nine Spanish universities, presents the first series of women's wages, 1700-1900, for all Spanish provinces, the geographical distribution of wet-nurses, and how this market was affected by the transport network. The book shows the importance of payments that have been ignored until now when calculating the income and standards of living of peasant households, as well as the regional differences in per capita income.

Carmen Sarasúa
2005 (editor, with P. SCHOLLIERS and L. VAN MOLLE), Land, shops and kitchens. Technology and the food chain in twentieth-century Europe. CORN (Comparative Rural History of the North Sea Area) Publication Series, Brepols.

The book discusses the concept of the food chain from a new perspective, emphasizing the historical dimension and conflicts. The inclusion of technology, as a core element, is an original approach to food studies. Thus, technology is related to agricultural production, packaging, transport and storing, wholesale and retailing, catering, and cooking. Also, the so-called middle field, such as political interference, farmers' education and scientific concerns, is addressed. This book focuses on the history of agriculture, including themes such as water supply, fertilizers, land use, greenhouses, and EU policy. It tackles the history of shopping, cooking, health concerns, and fast food eating-places. The essays in this volume (selected from papers presented at the 'Agriculture and Food' thematic workshop of the Tensions of Europe Project, www.tensionsofeurope.eu/publications) do not take technology for granted, but view it as a field of conflict (action, reaction, and negotiation). The concept of the food chain necessitates consideration of all these elements as a whole, and presentation of them in a single, integrated volume. +

Carmen Sarasúa
2003 (editor, with L. GÁLVEZ), ¿Privilegios o eficiencia? Mujeres y hombres en los mercados de trabajo. España, siglos XVIII a XX, Alicante: Publicaciones de la Universidad de Alicante.

Together with unemployment, the main difference between the Spanish and the EU labor markets is the female participation rate, with the Spanish rate being the lowest of the EU. The essays in this volume (selected from papers presented at the 2001 Spanish Economic History Association Congress) show that women's access to paid labor has been historically restricted by demand and supply factors. Among the demand factors are cultural stereotypes on the capacities of women and men, which condition contracting (reinforcing the gender division of labor) and professional careers (the glass ceiling); and supply factors, such as institutional restrictions (legislation, obstacles to human capital formation, union's defense of male employment and the family wage), and above all, domestic and care work, which has limited the amount of working time that female workers offer in the market. +

Carmen Sarasúa
1994 Criados, nodrizas y amos. El servicio doméstico en la formación del mercado de trabajo madrileño, 1758-1868, Madrid, Siglo XXI.

Domestic service is the main occupation of urban workers in 18th century Europe. In this book the different functions developed by this sector are analyzed, particularly its role absorbing rural immigrants to the urban economy. The sector becomes feminized in the 19th century, when demand for male labor diversified and male wages rapidly increase. It then remains as the main occupation of female labor. The evolution of the labor market in a service city like Madrid is here connected to the evolution of ideas (determining which services are appropriate to be purchased in the market and which ones are 'natural' and must be performed by the mother, such as nursing and child care), labor and migratory legislation and family consumption of goods and services.+