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Industrialization and Skill Intensity: The Case of Massachusetts

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  • Alexander James Field

Abstract

The impact of industrialization on an economy's overall demands for skill cannot be deduced on purely a priori grounds, but depends, rather, on such variables as the character of the agricultural sector at the onset of industrialization, the particular industries in which manufacturing employment is concentrated, and the distribution of tertiary-sector employment between professional, technical, and scientific occupations, and such relatively low-skill occupations as demestic service. An examination of the evolution of the Massachusetts economy between 1820 and 1880 concludes that there was no major increase in the overall demands for skilled and educated labor during this period, at least before 1870.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander James Field, 1980. "Industrialization and Skill Intensity: The Case of Massachusetts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(2), pages 149-175.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:15:y:1980:i:2:p:149-175
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    Cited by:

    1. Gray, Rowena, 2013. "Taking technology to task: The skill content of technological change in early twentieth century United States," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 351-367.
    2. James, John A. & Skinner, Jonathan S., 1985. "The Resolution of the Labor-Scarcity Paradox," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(03), pages 513-540, September.

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