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The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850 : Review Essay

  • Gregory Clark

The British Industrial Revolution is the key break in world history. Yet the timing, location, and cause of this Revolution are unsolved puzzles. Joel Mokyr's book is one of a number of recent attempted solutions. He explains the Industrial Revolution through the arrival of a particular ideology in Britain, associated with the earlier European intellectual movement of the Enlightenment. This review considers how Mokyr's "idealist" approach fares as an account of the Industrial Revolution, compared to the spate of recent proposed "materialist" explanations. ( JEL N13, N63)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 50 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 85-95

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:50:y:2012:i:1:p:85-95
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.1.85
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  1. Clark, Gregory & Jacks, David, 2007. "Coal and the Industrial Revolution, 1700 1869," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 39-72, April.
  2. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil, 2010. "Malthus to Modernity: England’s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800," MPRA Paper 25465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Clark, Gregory, 1987. "Productivity Growth without Technical Change in European Agriculture before 1850," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(02), pages 419-432, June.
  4. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Sharp, Paul & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2011. "Survival of the richest? Social status, fertility and social mobility in England 1541-1824," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 365-392, December.
  5. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
  6. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
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