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Falling real wages during an industrial revolution

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Abstract

The Industrial Revolution was characterized by technological progress and an increasing capital intensity. Why did real wages stagnate or fall in the beginning? I answer this question by modeling the Industrial Revolution as the introduction of a relatively more capital intensive production method in a standard neoclassical framework. I show that {\sl real wages fall in the beginning of an industrial revolution if and only if technological progress in the relatively more capital intensive sector is relatively fast.}

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 195.

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Date of creation: Oct 1996
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:195

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

Related research

Keywords: Industrial revolution; technological change; capital intensive; production; neoclassical growth model;

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Cited by:
  1. Nuvolari, A., 2000. "The 'machine breakers' and the industrial revolution," Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) 00.11, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS).
  2. Francesco Caselli, 1999. "Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-102, March.
  3. Hans-Joachim Voth, 2003. "Living Standards During the Industrial Revolution: An Economist's Guide," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 221-226, May.

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