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Networks in the Premodern Economy: The Market for London Apprenticeships, 1600–1749

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  • Leunig, Tim
  • Minns, Chris
  • Wallis, Patrick

Abstract

This paper examines the importance of social and geographical networks in structuring entry into skilled occupations in premodern London. Using newly digitised records of those beginning an apprenticeship in London between 1600 and 1749, we find little evidence that networks strongly shaped apprentice recruitment. The typical London apprentice did not have an identifiable connection to his master in the form of a kin link, shared name, or shared place or county of origin. The majority of migrant apprentices' fathers came from outside of the craft sector. Our results suggest that the market for apprenticeship was strikingly open: well-to-do families of all types were able to access a wide range of craft and trade apprenticeships, and would-be apprentices had considerable scope to match their perceived ability and aptitude to opportunity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 71 (2011)
Issue (Month): 02 (June)
Pages: 413-443

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:71:y:2011:i:02:p:413-443_00

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  1. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2004. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working papers 2004-07, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2005.
  2. Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis, 2009. "Rules and reality: quantifying the practice of apprenticeship in early modern Europe," Economic History Working Papers 27865, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  3. Dudley Baines, 1994. "European emigration, 1815-1930: looking at the emigration decision again," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 47(3), pages 525-544, 08.
  4. Patrick Wallis, 2007. "Apprenticeship and training in premodern England," Economic History Working Papers 22515, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  5. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1413, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  7. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2002. "Guilds, Efficiency, and Social Capital: Evidence from German Proto-Industry," CESifo Working Paper Series 820, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Horrell Sara & Humphries Jane, 1995. "The Exploitation of Little Children: Child Labor and the Family Economy in the Industrial Revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 485-516, October.
  9. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implicationsfor Growth," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 65, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  10. Epstein, S. R., 1998. "Craft Guilds, Apprenticeship, and Technological Change in Preindustrial Europe," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 684-713, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Minns, Chris & Wallis, Patrick, 2013. "The price of human capital in a pre-industrial economy: Premiums and apprenticeship contracts in 18th century England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 335-350.
  2. Nicholas Oulton & Ana Rincon-Aznar, 2009. "Rates of Return and Alternative Measures of Capital Input: 14 Countries and 10 Branches, 1971-2005," CEP Discussion Papers dp0957, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Marc Klemp & Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis & Jacob Weisdorf, 2013. "Picking Winners? The Effect of Birth Order and Migration on Parental Human Capital Investments in Pre-Modern England," Working Papers 0037, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  4. Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis, 2011. "Why did (pre‐industrial) firms train?: premiums and apprenticeship contracts in 18th century England," Economic History Working Papers 41348, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  5. Klemp, Marc P B & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2012. "Fecundity, Fertility and Family Reconstitution Data: The Child Quantity-Quality Trade-O Revisite," CEPR Discussion Papers 9121, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Marc Klemp & Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis & Jacob Weisdorf, 2012. "Family Investment Strategies in Pre-modern Societies: Human Capital, Migration, and Birth Order in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century England," Working Papers 0018, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

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