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Did English Factor Markets Fail during the Industrial Revolution?


  • Williamson, Jeffrey G


This paper measures wage and rate-of-return gaps between agriculture and industry in the midst of England's industrial revolution. It then uses partial and general equilibrium analysis to assess the impact of factor-market failure. The failure seems to have been very large. It was manifested in terms of conventional deadweight losses a s well as in terms of distribution, employment, and accumulation effe cts. It appears that English industralization was seriously constrain ed by market failure during the first industrial revolution. Copyright 1987 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1987. "Did English Factor Markets Fail during the Industrial Revolution?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 641-678, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:39:y:1987:i:4:p:641-78

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino, 2008. "The Political Economy of Post-Compulsory Education Policy with Endogenous Credit Constraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 2304, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. William R. Johnson, 2006. "Are Public Subsidies to Higher Education Regressive?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(3), pages 288-315, June.
    3. Del Rey, Elena & Racionero, María, 2010. "Financing schemes for higher education," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 104-113, March.
    4. Creedy, John & Francois, Patrick, 1990. "Financing higher education and majority voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 181-200, November.
    5. Rainald Borck, 2007. "Voting, Inequality And Redistribution," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 90-109, February.
    6. Chapman, Bruce, 2006. "Income Contingent Loans for Higher Education: International Reforms," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    7. Olivier de La Grandville & Rainer Klump, 2000. "Economic Growth and the Elasticity of Substitution: Two Theorems and Some Suggestions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 282-291, March.
    8. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
    9. Nicholas Barr, 2004. "Higher Education Funding," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 264-283, Summer.
    10. De Fraja, Gianni, 2001. "Education Policies: Equity, Efficiency and Voting Equilibrium," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages 104-119, May.
    11. Stiglitz, J. E., 1974. "The demand for education in public and private school systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 349-385, November.
    12. Nerlove, Marc L, 1975. "Some Problems in the Use of Income-contingent Loans for the Finance of Higher Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 157-183, February.
    13. David Greenaway & Michelle Haynes, 2003. "Funding Higher Education in The UK: The Role of Fees and Loans," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 150-166, February.
    14. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Walde, Klaus, 2000. "Efficiency and Equity Effects of Subsidies to Higher Education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 702-722, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Norman Gemmell, & Tim Lloyd, & Marina Mathew, "undated". "Dynamic Sectoral Linkages and Structural Change in a Developing Economy," Discussion Papers 98/3, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    2. Jonathan J Adams, 2017. "Urbanization, Long-Run Growth, and the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 001001, University of Florida, Department of Economics.
    3. Simpson, James, 2000. "Labour markets and rural unrest in Spanish agriculture, 1860-1936," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 8561, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    4. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2009. "How important are dual economy effects for aggregate productivity?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 325-334, March.
    5. McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, 2009. "Foreign Trade Was Not an Engine of Growth," MPRA Paper 19723, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Borodkin, Leonid & Granville, Brigitte & Leonard, Carol Scott, 2008. "The rural/urban wage gap in the industrialisation of Russia, 1884–1910," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 67-95, April.
    7. McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, 2009. "Domestic Reshufflings, Such as Transport and Coal, Do Not Explain the Modern World," MPRA Paper 18925, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.

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