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Prices and Wages in India (1200-1800): Source Material, Historiography and New Directions

Prices and Wages in India (1200-1800): Source Material, Historiography and New Directions

By Najaf Haider

Paper given at Towards a Global History of Prices and Wages (2004)

Introduction: Quantitative data on prices, wages and income are extremely limited and fragmentary for the whole of medieval India (1200-1800 AD). It is only from the middle of the nineteenth century (1861 AD) that one begins to get unbroken statistical series on prices and wages. This explains the short treatment the above themes have received in current historiography. However, there is sufficient evidence – some of it fresh – to commence the compilation of a database for prices and wages as well as to comment on their longterm movements.

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