The First Industrial Revolution: Resolving the Slow Growth/Rapid Industrialization Paradox
The paper reviews recent attempts to quantify the British industrial revolution. It concludes that the episode was one of rapid industrialization but modest growth. To a considerable extent this is explained by the early adoption of capitalist farming and the weak impact of steam on productivity growth. However, this should not detract from a marked acceleration in the rate of technological change by the second quarter of the 19th century. This may be explicable in an endogenous innovation framework in terms of a reduced cost of accessing useful knowledge. Models of long-run growth should take this enhanced technological capability seriously. (JEL:N23) Copyright (c) 2005 The European Economic Association.
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Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04/05)
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