Book Chapter

Alternative forms of remuneration at the Holy Spirit Hospital of Marseille in the Fourteenth century

  • Robert Braid

The monetisation of exchanges tends to favour economic development, yet many forms of payment persisted throughout the preindustrial era despite rapid growth. Services in particular were remunerated in a variety of forms which depended on the particular relationship between the employer and the worker. The evolution in the composition of wages impacted social relations and structures as much as standards of living. Through an extensive examination of its account registers as well as local legislation, this paper analyses the variety of ways the Holy Spirit Hospital of Marseille remunerated individuals it employed as doctors, surgeons, scribes, wet-nurses, domestic servants, artisans and casual laborers. Workers who lived separately from the hospital were usually paid only in cash, while employees who were part of the household could receive cloth, shoes, clothing, meals, housing and medical care in addition to a cash salary. Contrary to what historians have observed in other regions, the share of in-kind payments did not increase after the Black Death for casual agricultural workers, who were paid in cash through this period. Only construction workers started to receive meals in addition to wages in the 1360s. Domestic and agricultural servants, however, received fewer in-kind payments after the epidemic. More importantly, this study reveals the numerous services that were provided by individuals for strikingly below-market rates. It is argued that the hospital was able to significantly lower operating costs by offering individuals social currency, intangible benefits instead of cash or in-kind payments, in exchange for numerous and valuable services. After the Black Death, however, the value of social currency decreased relative to other forms of payment.

  • Keywords:
  • remuneration,
  • social currency,
  • labourers,
  • servants,
  • volunteers,
  • Middle Ages,
  • Marseille,
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Robert Braid

Montpellier University, France

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  • Publication Year: 2024
  • Pages: 93-119
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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  • Publication Year: 2024
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Alternative forms of remuneration at the Holy Spirit Hospital of Marseille in the Fourteenth century

Authors

Robert Braid

Language

English

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0347-0.08

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2024

Copyright Information

© 2024 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Mezzi di scambio non monetari. Merci e servizi come monete alternative nelle economie dei secoli XIII-XVIII / Alternative currencies. Commodities and services as exchange currencies in the monetarized economies of the 13th to 18th centuries

Editors

Angela Orlandi

Peer Reviewed

Number of Pages

592

Publication Year

2024

Copyright Information

© 2024 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0347-0

ISBN Print

979-12-215-0346-3

eISBN (pdf)

979-12-215-0347-0

eISBN (xml)

979-12-215-0348-7

Series Title

Datini Studies in Economic History

Series ISSN

2975-1241

Series E-ISSN

2975-1195

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