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Revolutionary change and structural breaks: A time series analysis of wages and commodity prices in Britain 1264-1913

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  • Casson, Catherine
  • Fry, J. M.
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Abstract

In this paper we empirically test the hypothesis that economic revolutions are associated with structural breaks in historical economic data. A simple test for structural breaks in economic time series is applied to British wage and price data from the medieval to the modern period. Evidence for structural change is found in nearly half of the series studied -- suggesting that structural breaks are an intrinsic feature of such historic data. Structural changes are most closely linked to the Commercial Revolution followed by the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, with changes linked to an underlying process of price stabilisation as measured by a decrease in the long-term level of volatility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 27866.

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Date of creation: 04 Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:27866

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Keywords: historical economics; economic revolutions; structural breaks; price stabilisation;

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  1. Deaton, A. & Laroque, G., 1989. "On The Behavior Of Commodity Prices," Papers 145, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. Stacie Beck, 2001. "Autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity in commodity spot prices," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 115-132.
  3. Dabin Wang & William G. Tomek, 2007. "Commodity Prices and Unit Root Tests," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 873-889.
  4. Harley, C. Knick & Crafts, N.F.R., 2000. "Simulating the Two Views of the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 819-841, September.
  5. Rossana, Robert J & Seater, John J, 1992. "Aggregation, Unit Roots and the Time Series Structure on Manufacturing Real Wages," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(1), pages 159-79, February.
  6. BAI, Jushan & PERRON, Pierre, 1998. "Computation and Analysis of Multiple Structural-Change Models," Cahiers de recherche 9807, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  7. Munro, John H., 2002. "The medieval origins of the 'Financial Revolution': usury, rentes, and negotiablity," MPRA Paper 10925, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Sep 2002.
  8. Zeileis, Achim & Kleiber, Christian & Kramer, Walter & Hornik, Kurt, 2003. "Testing and dating of structural changes in practice," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 109-123, October.
  9. Adrian R. Bell & Chris Brooks & Tony Moore, 2008. "Interest in medieval accounts: Examples from England, 1272-1340," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2008-07, Henley Business School, Reading University.
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