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Apprenticeship and training in premodern England

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  • Patrick Wallis

Abstract

This paper re-examines the economics of premodern apprenticeship in England. I present new data showing that a high proportion of apprenticeships in seventeenth century London ended before the term of service was finished. I then propose a new account of how training costs and repayments were distributed over the apprenticeship contract such that neither master or apprentice risked significant loss from early termination. This new account fits with the characteristics of premodern apprenticeship, as well as with what is known about the acquisition of skills in modern and premodern societies.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22515/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 22515.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:22515

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Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/
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References

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  1. James Malcomson & James W. Maw, 2002. "General Training by Firms, Apprentice Contracts, and Public Policy," Economics Series Working Papers 86, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Elbaum, Bernard, 1989. "Why Apprenticeship Persisted in Britain But Not in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(02), pages 337-349, June.
  3. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  4. Grubb, Farley, 2000. "The Statutory Regulation of Colonial Servitude: An Incomplete-Contract Approach," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 42-75, January.
  5. Thrupp, Sylvia L., 1942. "Medieval Gilds Reconsidered," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 164-173, November.
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Cited by:
  1. 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," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 210-232, May.
  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. Tim Leunig & Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis, 2009. "Networks in the Premodern Economy: the Market for London Apprenticeships, 1600-1749," CEP Discussion Papers dp0956, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Morgan Kelly & Joel Mokyr & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2013. "Precocious Albion: a New Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution," Working Papers 201311, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Moshe Justman & Karine van der Beek, 2013. "Market Forces Shaping Human Capital in Eighteenth Century London," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n28, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  8. Bardsley, Peter & Erkal, Nisvan & Nikiforakis, Nikos & Wilkening, Tom, 2013. "Recursive contracts, firm longevity, and rat races: An experimental analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 217-231.

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