In this article, consumption in early modern Europe is analysed in terms of prices, incomes and per capita GDP. We focus in particular on England and Italy, and stress both the similarities and differences. We show how the increase in consumption of some items is not at odds with decline or stability in labour incomes and, probably, per capita output. The “social” perspective of improved living conditions can in fact be reconciled with the “economic” perspective of a fall in wages.
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