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Testable implications of economic revolutions: An application to historic data on European wages

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  • Fry, J. M.
  • Masood, Omar
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Abstract

Motivated by an on-going debate in economic history we develop a simple method to quantify the impact of economic revolutions upon a novel historical data set listing the wages of building craftsmen and labourers in Southeast Europe. Structural breaks are found in the data and signify the effects of economic revolutions. With a small number of localised exceptions economic revolutions, caused by technological and administrative progress, lead to a decrease in the long-term level of wage volatility and overall results suggest close analogies between biological and economic evolution. The Commercial Revolution (mid 16th-early 18th centuries) acts as an important pre-requisite for the later Industrial Revolution (mid 18th-19th centuries). The Price Revolution (15th-16th centuries) results in some short-term increases in wage volatility.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32812.

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Date of creation: 15 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32812

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Keywords: Historical Economics; Economic Revolutions; Economic Evolution; European Wages;

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. John H. Munro, 1999. "The Monetary Origins of the Price Revolution' Before the Influx of Spanish-American Treasure: the South German Silver-Copper Trades, Merchant-Banking, and Venetian Commerce, 1470-1540," Working Papers munro-99-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  4. Zeileis, Achim & Kleiber, Christian & Krämer, Walter & Hornik, Kurt, 2002. "Testing and dating of structural changes in practice," Technical Reports 2002,39, Technische Universität Dortmund, Sonderforschungsbereich 475: Komplexitätsreduktion in multivariaten Datenstrukturen.
  5. 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.
  6. John Foster, 2000. "Competitive selection, self-organisation and Joseph A. Schumpeter," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 311-328.
  7. 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, vol. 5(03), pages 503-509, November.
  8. N. H. Bingham & Rudiger Kiesel & Rafael Schmidt, 2003. "A semi-parametric approach to risk management," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(6), pages 426-441.
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