The Consumer Revolution: Turning Point in Human History, or Statistical Artifact?
AbstractA Farewell to Alms argued based on wages, rents and returns on capital that the English by 1800 were no wealthier than in 1400. An argument against this has been the supposed consumer revolution of 1600-1750. Since ordinary families by 1750 begin routinely consuming former luxury goods, income must have risen much faster than wages through a concomitant industrious revolution. This paper argues that the consumer and industrious revolutions of 1600-1750 are artifacts created by misinterpreting the major source on consumption in these years, probate inventories. Properly interpreted there is no conflict between wages, income and consumption in England 1600-1750.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25467.
Date of creation: 04 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Consumer Revolution Pre-Modern;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
- N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
- O4 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2010-10-09 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-MAC-2010-10-09 (Macroeconomics)
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