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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Brian A'Hearn & Jörg Baten & Dorothee Crayen, 2006. "Quantifying quantitative literacy: Age heaping and the history of human capital," Economics Working Papers 996, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Floud,Roderick & Fogel,Robert W. & Harris,Bernard & Hong,Sok Chul, 2011. "The Changing Body," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521879750, November.
    • Floud,Roderick & Fogel,Robert W. & Harris,Bernard & Hong,Sok Chul, 2011. "The Changing Body," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521705615, November.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
  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. 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.
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