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Explaining the first Industrial Revolution: two views

  • CRAFTS, NICHOLAS

This review article looks at the recent books on the British Industrial Revolution by Robert Allen and Joel Mokyr. Both writers seek to explain Britain's primacy. This article offers a critical but sympathetic account of the main arguments of the two authors, considering both the economic logic and the empirical validity of their rival claims. In each case, the ideas are promising but the evidence base seems in need of further support. It may be that eventually these explanations for British economic leadership at the turn of the nineteenth century are recognized as complementary rather than competing.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal European Review of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 15 (2011)
Issue (Month): 01 (April)
Pages: 153-168

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:15:y:2011:i:01:p:153-168_00
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  1. Gary Richardson & Dan Bogart, 2008. "Institutional Adaptability and Economic Development: The Property Rights Revolution in Britain, 1700 to 1830," NBER Working Papers 13757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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