Carmen Sarasua



Carmen Sarasua
2021 Salarios que la ciudad paga al campo: Los salarios de las nodrizas de las inclusas en España, 1700-1900 [Wages the City Pays the Countryside: The Wages of Wet Nurses of Foundling Hospitals in Spain 1700–1900], edited by Carmen Sarasúa, Publicaciones de la Universidad de Alicante, ISBN: 978-84-9717-718-4

This book contributes to the debate on women’s wages in preindustrial economies. It examines, for the first time, the wages of tens of thousands of wet nurses who worked for foundling hospitals throughout Spain. Most of the women were married and lived in rural localities. The quantity and extent of these wages transform our understanding of the Spanish economy—both rural and urban—in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The book reveals the widespread deployment of wages during these two centuries, the pervasiveness of women’s remunerated work in cities as well as in isolated rural zones, and the importance of non-agrarian activities in the preindustrial occupational structure. The work of wet nurses transferred considerable monetary resources to the rural economy, especially to the poorest strata, which helped to reduce indebtedness and to compensate for low agricultural day wages and for men’s underemployment and unemployment. Wet nurses’ work stimulated the circulation of cash, enabled recourse to credit and pawnshops, and facilitated the payment of taxes and rent. In short, the labor of wet nurses spurred economic activity and reduced extreme poverty. +


    ● Historia Mexicana, lxxiv: 2 (294), oct.-dic. 2024 DOI: 10.24201/hm.v74i2.4602

    ● Revista de Historia Industrial, vol. 32, no. 88 (2023) Read

    ● Historia Agraria, diciembre 2022, vol. 88 +

    ● Revista de Demografía Histórica, 2022, XL, Vol. 2 +

    ● El Correo de Burgos, 8 de agosto, 2021 +


    ● Todo comenzó ayer, Asociación Española de Historia Económica. Access

Carmen Sarasúa
2005 Land, shops and kitchens: Technology and the food chain in twentieth-century Europe, edited by C. Sarasúa, P. Scholliers and L. Van Molle, Comparative Rural History of the North Sea Area (CORN) Publication Series, Brepols

Emphasizing the history and conflict of food chains, this book establishes a new framework for examining how food gets to our tables. It takes technology as a core element, which is an original approach to food studies. Technology is related to agricultural production, packaging, transport and storage, wholesale and retail sales, catering, and cooking. Topics in the so-called ‘middle field’, such as political interference, farmers' education, and science, are also addressed. With the history of agriculture as its focus, the book covers themes such as water supply, fertilizers, land use, greenhouses, and EU policy. It tackles the history of shopping, cooking, health concerns, and fast-food eateries. The essays in this volume (selected from papers presented at the 'Agriculture and Food' workshop of the Tensions of Europe Project, view technology as a field of conflict—with actions, reactions, and negotiations. Only by considering all of these elements together can we develop a coherent vision of the food chain. +

Carmen Sarasúa
2003 ¿Privilegios o eficiencia? Mujeres y hombres en los mercados de trabajo. España, siglos XVIII a XX, edited by Carmen Sarasúa and Lina Gálvez, Alicante: Publicaciones de la Universidad de Alicante

Women’s participation rates constitute a fundamental difference between the Spanish labor market and EU labor markets. The Spanish participation rate is 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 about the abilities of women and men, which condition contracting (thereby reinforcing the gender division of labor) and professional careers (setting a ‘glass ceiling’). Supply factors include institutional restrictions (legislation, obstacles to human capital formation, unions’ defense of men’s employment and the family wage), and, more importantly, responsibilities for domestic work and care work, which have limited the amount of working time that women workers can offer in the marketplace. +

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 was the main occupation of urban workers in 18th-century Europe. This book analyzes the different roles of the sector, particularly that of absorbing rural immigrants into the urban economy. Domestic service became feminized in the 19th century, when demand for men’s labor diversified and men’s wages rapidly increased. The sector then became the main occupation for women workers. This book connects the evolution of the labor market in a service city (Madrid) to the evolution of ideas (determining which services are appropriate for purchase in the marketplace and which are 'natural', such as nursing and childcare, and must therefore be performed by the mother), to labor and migratory legislation, and to family consumption of goods and services. +