IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/ehsrev/v68y2015i4p1177-1202.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Market forces shaping human capital in eighteenth-century London

Author

Listed:
  • Moshe Justman
  • Karine Beek

Abstract

type="main"> This article draws on quantitative and descriptive data from Robert Campbell's manual for prospective apprentices, The London tradesman (1747), to demonstrate the responsiveness of apprenticeship premiums in mid-eighteenth-century London to market forces of supply and demand. It first shows that Campbell's data on mid-eighteenth-century journeymen wages, apprenticeship premiums, and masters’ set-up costs in London are consistent with other sources. It then applies instrumental variable regressions to estimate the elasticity of apprenticeship premiums with respect to journeymen wages and set-up costs, using Campbell's education and ability requirements by trade to instrument for wages. We find an elasticity of one with respect to wages, and of 0.25 with respect to set-up costs, both statistically significant at a p-value less than 0.1%. We interpret these findings as supporting the thesis that apprenticeship played an important role in adapting the English workforce to the skill requirements of the industrial revolution in its early stages, insofar as the institution of apprenticeship in London was representative of other parts of England. Furthermore, by demonstrating the internal and external consistency of Campbell's observations, our findings should encourage their use as an unparalleled source of detailed, trade-specific wage data from the early years of the industrial revolution.

Suggested Citation

  • Moshe Justman & Karine Beek, 2015. "Market forces shaping human capital in eighteenth-century London," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(4), pages 1177-1202, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:68:y:2015:i:4:p:1177-1202
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ehr.12092
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
    2. Epstein, S. R., 1998. "Craft Guilds, Apprenticeship, and Technological Change in Preindustrial Europe," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 684-713, September.
    3. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2004. "Guilds, efficiency, and social capital: evidence from German proto-industry," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 57(2), pages 286-333, May.
    4. Lindert, Peter H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1982. "Revising England's social tables 1688-1812," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 385-408, October.
    5. Allen, Robert C. & Ó Gráda, Cormac, 1988. "On the Road Again with Arthur Young: English, Irish, and French Agriculture during the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 93-116, March.
    6. Minns, Chris & Wallis, Patrick, 2013. "The price of human capital in a pre-industrial economy: Premiums and apprenticeship contracts in 18th century England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 335-350.
    7. Peter Temin & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2008. "Private borrowing during the financial revolution: Hoare's Bank and its customers, 1702-24 -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(3), pages 541-564, August.
    8. Feldman, Naomi E. & van der Beek, Karine, 2016. "Skill choice and skill complementarity in eighteenth century England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 94-113.
    9. Wallis, Patrick, 2008. "Apprenticeship and Training in Premodern England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(03), pages 832-861, September.
    10. Humphries,Jane, 2011. "Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521248969.
    11. L. D. Schwarz, 1985. "The Standard of Living in the Long Run: London, 1700–1860," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 38(1), pages 24-36, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Karine van der Beek, "undated". "England's Eighteenth Century Demand for High-Quality Workmanship: Evidence from Apprenticeship, 1710-1770," Working Papers 2013-015, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Florian Brugger & Christian Gehrke, 2017. "Skilling and Deskilling Technological Change in Classical Economic Theory and Its Empirical Evidence," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2017-02, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:68:y:2015:i:4:p:1177-1202. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ehsukea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.