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Apprenticeship and Training in Premodern England

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  • WALLIS, PATRICK

Abstract

This article reexamines the economics of premodern apprenticeship in England. I present new data showing that a high proportion of apprenticeships in seventeenth-century London ended before the term of service was finished. I then propose a new account of how training costs and repayments were distributed over the apprenticeship contract such that neither master nor apprentice risked significant loss from early termination. This new account fits both the characteristics of premodern apprenticeship and what is known about the acquisition of skills in modern and premodern societies.

Suggested Citation

  • Wallis, Patrick, 2008. "Apprenticeship and Training in Premodern England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 832-861, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:68:y:2008:i:03:p:832-861_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thrupp, Sylvia L., 1942. "Medieval Gilds Reconsidered," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 164-173, November.
    2. Malcomson, James M. & Maw, James W. & McCormick, Barry, 2003. "General training by firms, apprentice contracts, and public policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 197-227, April.
    3. Elbaum, Bernard, 1989. "Why Apprenticeship Persisted in Britain But Not in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 337-349, June.
    4. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-562, October.
    5. Hamilton, Gillian, 2000. "The Decline of Apprenticeship in North America: Evidence from Monetreal," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 627-664, September.
    6. Grubb, Farley, 2000. "The Statutory Regulation of Colonial Servitude: An Incomplete-Contract Approach," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 42-75, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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