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The High wage Economy and the Industrial Revolution: A Restatement

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  • Robert Allen

Abstract

This article responds to Professor Jane Humphries' critique of my assessment of the high wage economy of eighteenth century Britain and its importance for explaining the Industrial Revolution.� New Evidence is presented to show that women and children participated in the high wage economy.� It is also shown that the high wage economy provides a good explanation of why the Industrial Revolution happened in the eighteenth century by showing that increases of women's wages around 1700 greatly increased the profitability of using spinning machinery.� The relationship between the high wage economy of the eighteenth century and the inequality and poverty in Britain in the nineteenth century is explored.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number Number 115.

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Date of creation: 10 Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:number-115

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  1. Komlos, John, 1998. "Shrinking in a Growing Economy? The Mystery of Physical Stature during the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 779-802, September.
  2. Eric Schneider, 2012. "Real Wages and the Family: Adjusting Real Wages to Changing Demography in Pre-Modern England," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _099, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Horrell, Sara & Humphries, Jane, 1992. "Old Questions, New Data, and Alternative Perspectives: Families' Living Standards in the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 849-880, December.
  4. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
  5. Komlos, John, 2003. "An anthropometric history of early-modern France," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 159-189, August.
  6. Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen, 2007. "The Industrial Revolution in Miniature: The Spinning Jenny in Britain, France, and India," Economics Series Working Papers 375, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. A'Hearn, Brian & Baten, Jörg & Crayen, Dorothee, 2009. "Quantifying Quantitative Literacy: Age Heaping and the History of Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 7277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Robert C. Allen & Tommy E. Murphy & Eric B. Schneider, 2011. "The Colonial Origins of the Divergence in the Americas: A Labour Market Approach," Working Papers 402, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
  10. Stephen Broadberry & Bruce Campbell & Alexander Klein & Mark Overton & Bas van Leeuwen, 2012. "British Economic Growth, 1270-1870: an output-based approach," Studies in Economics 1203, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  11. A'Hearn, Brian, 2003. "Anthropometric Evidence on Living Standards in Northern Italy, 1730 1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 351-381, June.
  12. Roderick Floud & Kenneth Wachter & Annabel Gregory, 1990. "Height, Health, and History: Nutritional Status in the United Kingdom, 1750-1980," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number flou90-1, May.
  13. Floud,Roderick & Fogel,Robert W. & Harris,Bernard & Hong,Sok Chul, 2011. "The Changing Body," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521705615, October.
    • Floud,Roderick & Fogel,Robert W. & Harris,Bernard & Hong,Sok Chul, 2011. "The Changing Body," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521879750, October.
  14. Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen & Tommy E. Murphy and Eric B. Schneider, 2011. "The Colonial Origins of Divergence in the Americas:Â A Labour Market Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 559, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. Baten, Joerg & Ma, Debin & Morgan, Stephen & Wang, Qing, 2010. "Evolution of living standards and human capital in China in the 18-20th centuries: Evidences from real wages, age-heaping, and anthropometrics," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 347-359, July.
  16. Paul Johnson & Stephen Nicholas, 1995. "Male and female living standards in England and Wales, 1812-1867: evidence from criminal height records," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(3), pages 470-481, 08.
  17. Allen, Robert C., 2011. "The Spinning Jenny: A Fresh Look," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(02), pages 461-464, June.
  18. Cinnirella, Francesco, 2008. "Optimists or pessimists? A reconsideration of nutritional status in Britain, 1740–1865," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 325-354, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346 Elsevier.

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