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Evolution or revolution? a study of price and wage volatility in England, 1200-1900

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

Using annual data 1209-1914, this paper examines whether there are structural breaks in the movements of prices and wages that correspond to the major ‘revolutions’ identified in historical narratives. Econometric modelling of trend and volatility in prices and wages confirms the importance of the Commercial Revolution and the Glorious Revolution, but suggests that the Industrial Revolution may be better described in evolutionary terms. The evidence also points to a late medieval revolution at the time of the Good Parliament, shortly after the Black Death and just before the Peasant’s Revolt. This supports Britnell and Campbell’s commercialisation hypothesis - that the institutional pre-conditions for the Industrial Revolution began to develop at a very early date.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 31518.

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Date of creation: 13 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31518

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Keywords: Economic evolution; Economic revolution; Historical economics;

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  1. Deaton, Angus & Laroque, Guy, 1992. "On the Behaviour of Commodity Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23, January.
  2. 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, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
  3. Chun Liu & John M Maheu, 2007. "Are there Structural Breaks in Realized Volatility?," Working Papers tecipa-304, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273, 9.
  6. 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.
  7. Karanassou, Marika & Snower, Dennis J, 1998. "How Labour Market Flexibility Affects Unemployment: Long-Term Implications of the Chain Reaction Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 832-49, May.
  8. O’Brien, Patrick, 2010. "A conjuncture in global history or an Anglo-American construct: the British Industrial Revolution, 1700–1850," Journal of Global History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 503-509, November.
  9. Kowaleski,Maryanne, 1995. "Local Markets and Regional Trade in Medieval Exeter," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521333719, 9.
  10. BAI, Jushan & PERRON, Pierre, 1998. "Computation and Analysis of Multiple Structural-Change Models," Cahiers de recherche, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques 9807, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  11. Dabin Wang & William G. Tomek, 2007. "Commodity Prices and Unit Root Tests," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 873-889.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Carlos, Ann M., 2003. "The Rise of Commercial Empires: England and the Netherlands in the Age of Mercantilism, 1650 1770. By David Ormond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pp. ix, 388. $75.00," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(04), pages 1154-1155, December.
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