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Factory Discipline

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  • Clark, Gregory

Abstract

Before the Industrial Revolution in Britain most workers controlled their pace, timing, and conduct at work. Factory discipline radically changed this. Employers now dictated how, when, and in what manner work was done. Why did discipline triumph? Was it required by the need to tightly coordinate workers with new technologies? Or was it successful because it coerced more effort from workers than they would freely give? The empirical evidence shows that discipline succeeded mainly by increasing work effort. Workers effectively hired capitalists to make them work harder. They lacked the self-control to achieve higher earnings on their own.

Suggested Citation

  • Clark, Gregory, 1994. "Factory Discipline," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 128-163, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:54:y:1994:i:01:p:128-163_01
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    Cited by:

    1. Henriksen, Ingrid & Lampe, Markus & Sharp, Paul, 2011. "The role of technology and institutions for growth: Danish creameries in the late nineteenth century," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 475-493, December.
    2. Juan Pérez Velasco Pavón, 2014. "Economic behavior of indigenous peoples: the Mexican case," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 23(1), pages 1-58, December.
    3. Koyama, Mark, 2012. "The transformation of labor supply in the pre-industrial world," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 505-523.
    4. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman & Eugenio Proto, 2014. "Smithian Growth through Creative Organization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(5), pages 796-811, December.
    5. Richard Langlois, 2013. "The Institutional Revolution: A review essay," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 383-395, December.
    6. Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2015. "Locus of control and the labor market," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    7. Karlsson, Tobias, 2016. "Gender differences in absence from work: Lessons from two world wars," Working Paper Series 2016:26, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    8. Hiller, Victor, 2011. "Work organization, preferences dynamics and the industrialization process," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 1007-1025.
    9. Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2006. "Unions, Wages and Labour Productivity : Evidence from Indian Cotton Mills," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 753, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    10. Bishnupriya Gupta, 2011. "Wages, unions, and labour productivity: evidence from Indian cotton mills," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64, pages 76-98, February.
    11. Toms, Steven, 2014. "‘Cold, Calculating Political Economy’: Fixed costs, the Rate of Profit and the Length of the Working Day in the Factory Act Debates, 1832-1847," MPRA Paper 54408, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Mokyr, Joel, 2001. "The rise and fall of the factory system: technology, firms, and households since the industrial revolution," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-45, December.
    13. Ramon Ramon-Muñoz & Josep-Maria Ramon-Muñoz, 2015. "Height and Industrialisation in a City in Catalonia during the Nineteenth Century," UB Economics Working Papers 2015/334, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    14. Rosés, Joan R., 1998. "The choice of tecnology in the Mediterranean basin : some evidence from the Spanish, Italian, British and us cotton mills(1830-1860)," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 6182, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    15. Victor Hiller, 2007. "Work organization and preferences dynamics," Post-Print halshs-00188299, HAL.
    16. Geraghty, Thomas M., 2007. "The factory system in the British industrial revolution: A complementarity thesis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1329-1350, August.
    17. Muñoz, Lina Gálvez, 2000. "Género y cambio tecnológico: Rentabilidad económica y política del proceso de industrialización del monopolio de tabacos en España (1887–1945)," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 11-45, March.

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