Working Papers

From Ports to the Countryside : the Social Consequences of the 1786 Eden Treaty

In 1787, the application of the Eden Treaty established a competitive system between France and England. In Normandy, one of the most industrialized region of France, the cotton textile imports from Britain provoked an important decrease of the region’s industrial production. Unable to sustain the competition from England, Norman manufacturers had to reduce their production by dismissing workers or declaring bankruptcy. In the following months, unemployment and vagrancy quickly rose and many social conflicts occurred in different parts of the province. Using merchants’ bankruptcy records, state surveys quantifying begging and unemployment, and social conflict data from the French Revolution, this paper analyzes the socio-economic consequences and the intensity of the Eden Treaty shock on the eve of the French Revolution.

A version of this paper will be presented at the WEHC in Paris (2020) during a session on the Consequences of Trade Agreements (G. Daudin, L. Charles)


From War to the “Doux Commerce” : the Commercial Consequences of Peace in Normandy

This paper analyzes the economic consequences in Normandy of the peace treaty signed in 1783 and the signature of the Eden Agreement in 1786 between France and England. To approach the consequences of this “diplomatic” and “intellectual” Revolution I use data on commercial flows between Norman and England ports which allow for a classification of the kinds of goods imported and exported. I complete the commercial data with original archives from the juridiction of the Admiralty.

A version of this paper was presented at the French Modern Workshop of the University of Chicago and a second version will be presented at the annual conference of the French Economy History Association in Paris (December 2019)


Food Riots during the French Revolution : the case of Normandy

During my PhD, I collected a new dataset on food riots during a long Eighteenth Century (1709-1817) to extend and complete the work of Jean Nicolas (2002) on social conflits. In this paper, I examine the reasons and the causes of those food riots during the French Revolution (1789-1817). I analyze the socio-economic factors driving those riots by studying the consequences of the Eden-Agreement and the Saint-Domingue’s revolt on Normandy.


Backward province ? Real Wages and Living Standards in Early Modern Normandy

with Cédric Chambru (University of Zurich)

This paper presents a new estimation of real wages for Early Modern Normandy with regard to a subsistence line. It uses prices information relating to seventeen grains markets and newly collected wages from the account books of parishes’ fabrique and various livres de compte to analyse the evolution of living standards in Normandy before the French Revolution. Recent researches suggest that real wage levels, an important factor in Allen’s theory of Industrial Revolution, have been probably underestimated in France outside Paris. We take up the case of Normandy, a wealthy province northwest of Paris that accounted for 10 per cent of the total French population, to bring new evidence to the debate. We construct series of real wages for skilled and unskilled workers. We find that skilled workers in urban areas (Rouen) were paid, in real terms, as much as their peers in Paris. However, real wages of skilled workers in agricultural-centered areas were significantly lower in Paris. These new estimates suggest that wages in Normandy during the eighteenth century were in between wages paid in northern European cities (Antwerp, London) and wages in the Mediterranean area (Florence, Valencia). We also shed light on the socio-economic factors, including wars and industrial or commercial shocks, which explain short-term variations in real wages during the eighteenth century.


A version a this paper was presented at the EHES conference (2019) in Paris.