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Time and Work in Eighteenth-Century London

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  • Voth, Hans-Joachim

Abstract

Witnesses' accounts are used to analyze changes in working hours between 1750 and 1800. Two findings stand out. The article demonstrates that the information contained in witnesses' accounts allows us to reconstruct historical time-budgets and provides extensive tests of the new method. Estimates of annual labor input in 1749/63 and 1799/1803 are presented. It emerges that the number of annual working hours changed rapidly between the middle and the of the eighteenth century. These findings have important implications for the issue of total factor productivity during the Industrial Revolution.

Suggested Citation

  • Voth, Hans-Joachim, 1998. "Time and Work in Eighteenth-Century London," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 29-58, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:58:y:1998:i:01:p:29-58_01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
    2. John Komlos, 1989. "Nutrition and Economic Development in the Eighteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy: An Anthropometric History," Books by John Komlos, Department of Economics, University of Munich, number 2, September.
    3. M. S. Feldstein, 1967. "Specification of the Labour Input in the Aggregate Production Function," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(4), pages 375-386.
    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. Eric Hopkins, 1982. "Working Hours and Conditions during the Industrial Revolution: A Re-Appraisal," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 35(1), pages 52-66, February.
    6. de Vries, Jan, 1994. "The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 249-270, June.
    7. Roger Craine, 1973. "On the Service Flow from Labour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 39-46.
    8. Maxine Berg & Pat Hudson, 1992. "Rehabilitating the industrial revolution," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 45(1), pages 24-50, February.
    9. Freudenberger, Herman & Cummins, Gaylord, 1976. "Health, work, and leisure before the industrial revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-12, January.
    10. 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.
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