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Explaining the First Industrial Revolution: Two Views

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  • Crafts, Nicholas

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This review essay looks at the recent books on the British Industrial Revolution by Robert Allen and Joel Mokyr. Both writers seek to explain Britain’s primacy. This paper offers a critical but sympathetic account of the main arguments of the two authors considering both the economic logic and the empirical validity of their rival claims. In each case, the ideas are promising but the evidence base seems in need of further support. It may be that eventually these explanations for British economic leadership at the turn of the nineteenth century are recognized as complementary rather than competing.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/research/papers/10.2010_craftsindustrial.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 10.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cge:warwcg:10

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  1. Zeira, Joseph, 1995. "Workers, Machines and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Stephen Broadberry & Bishnupriya Gupta, 2009. "Lancashire, India, and shifting competitive advantage in cotton textiles, 1700-1850: the neglected role of factor prices -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(2), pages 279-305, 05.
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  10. Joerg Baten & Jan Zanden, 2008. "Book production and the onset of modern economic growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 217-235, September.
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  12. Adams, Donald R., 1970. "Some Evidence on English and American Wage Rates, 1790–1830," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(03), pages 499-520, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Julio Martínez-Galarraga & Marc Prat, 2014. "Wages and prices in early Catalan industrialisation," UB Economics Working Papers 2014/305, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.

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