Thursday, March 11, 2010

City Economics

Who knows why I was working on this the day before Christmas?  But that's the date this file was last modified.  These notes were compiled from a book (not the book I'm reading now ... note the date on this file); but I can't actually say which book, since that could get me into loads of trouble.  C'est la vie.

This file is quite old and I've only just noticed it solves a problem I myself have had in designing a different table.

From Dec. 24, 1998

∙  An average birth rate is 30 per 1,000.

∙  The quantity and quality of a society’s needs depend on: a) the size of the population; b) the structure of the population by age, sex, and occupation; c) geophysical factors; d) sociocultural factors. Fruits and vegetables for most societies are in comparatively low demand as they are often seen as disease causing; milk is not commonly drunk; fish is in high demand in catholic countries; wine in very low demand for moslem countries. Needs may be considered as less important to economics than are wants.

∙  The level and structure of effective demand are determined by: a) the level of income; b) distribution of income; and c) the level and structure of prices. The mass of income can be divided into: a) wages; b) profits; and c) interest and rents. For the mass of people, wages are their only source of income; real wages for labor done are very low.

∙  In 1698 Vauban classified the French population as follows: rich, 10%; very poor, 50%; near beggars (cotters), 30%; and beggars, 10%.

∙  At the end of the 17th century, in Alsace in the region of Alencon, out of 410,000 inhabitants, 12% were beggars. In Brittany, out of a population of 1.655 million, 9% were beggars.

∙  In England, out of a total population of 5.5 million, it was estimated that 1.3 million were cottagers or paupers. Another 30,000 were vagrants, gypsies, thieves, beggars, etc.

∙  In Venice, in 1565, 13,027 ducats were the equivalent of 70,290 days wages of a worker.

∙  Types of demand include: a) a demand for consumable goods; b) a demand for services; and c) a demand for capital goods. Demand may also be divided into a) private, internal demand; b) public, internal demand; and c) foreign demand.

∙  60-80% of the expenditure of the masses went to food. Fertilizers and most materials which were meant to improve the life of the poor, or the produce of the field, were scarce or nonexistent.

∙  New apparel could cost a professional person as much as 15 ducats. A skilled worker in Venice could expect to pay as much as 12% of his wages for two rooms.

∙  In Milan, in 1576, in an area of 1,563 houses containing 8,956 rooms lived 4,066 families. In Genoa, as many as 10 to 12 families could occupy a single house. In small towns, more often it was only 3 to 4 persons per house.

∙  The rich generally spent 15-35% of their income on food, and the well-to-do about 35-50%. Clothes and jewelry consumed 10-30% of the income of the rich and well-to-do; the King of France at the end of the fifteenth century spent as much as 5-10% of all royal revenues on clothing and jewelry alone.

∙  In addition to those in Table 1-8, there were also household expenditures upon heating, candles, furniture, gardening, and so on. Household expenditure, food, and clothing together amounted to 60-80% in most cases.

∙  Servants pay didn’t generally represent more than 1-2% of the expenditure, but could reach 10%. In addition to wages, food, lodgeing, heating, and other items were provided for servants. Clothing for a servant cost as much as 40 florins per year, plus 17 florins for meat, 18 for meat, and more for drink, heating, accomodation, etc. Wages were generally about 70 florins per year.

∙  Also in demand by the families were lawyers, notaries, teachers (for children), persons performing religious ministrations, patronage of workers and artists, musicians, poets, dwarfs, jesters, falconers, stable boys and doctors.

∙  Instead of the usual expenditure, often money was saved.

∙  Of the highest earning group, 13% of income was an average saving per family. Savings amounted to a total of 5% of England’s national income.

∙  the golden ducat weighed 3.53 grams of gold.

∙  The level and structure of the public demand for goods depends upon: a) the income of the public power; b) the “wants” of those in power and of the community they control; and c) the price structure

∙  In England, the revenues of the crown were about £860,000 pounds in 1640.

∙  Taxes were generally not charged to the clergy, the nobility, or foreigners (except in times of war and crisis). In Ravenna, 1659, these three groups held 35, 42, and 15% of the land respectively. University professors and doctors were also exempt in France. In any event, the public power generally drew no more than about 5-8% of the national income.

∙  Milan surgeons on the public payroll were only 3 for a population of 60,000.

∙  Venice, with 100,000 people, had only 13 physicians on the public payroll, and 18 surgeons. Total surgeons for the Florence-Pisa region was 62 (24 on the public payroll), and the total physicians were 55 (30 public).

∙  Towns stored grain for future needs, and made loans to artisans, provided labor to create city works and the like, all to improve the economy.

∙  Other expenditures included repair of damages done by storms and other disasters; interest on public loans, and military expenditure. 16th century Venice spent 25-30% of revenues on their fleet, not counting the money spent upon the land army. A war could demand up to 60% of expenditure and loans, of course. Henry V of England spent two thirds of the state expenditure, Elizabeth I as much as three quarters.

∙  In 1530 there were about 825 monasteries in England with about 9,300 monks and nuns. Net income of the religious orders amounted to about 175,000£. By 1550 their furniture, silver, libraries, jewels and other holdings had been siezed and dispersed.

∙  Of church lands, 70% of the lands of Ravenna (17th century) were held by 4 wealthy abbeys, and 30% was divided among parishes, chapters, and secular clergy.

∙  The bulk of foreign trade was in foodstuffs and textiles, and in easily transportable valuables.

∙  In any society, once population totals have been established, it is important to identify: a) the economically active population (those who produce and consume); b) the dependent population (those who consume but do not produce); and c) the relationship between the two (dependency ratio).


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