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English Economic Growth: 1270 - 1870

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  • Broadberry, Stephen; Campbell, Bruce; Klein, Alexander; Overton, Mark; Van Leeuwen, Bas.

Abstract

We provide annual estimates of GDP for England between 1270 and 1700 and for Great Britain between 1700 and 1870, constructed from the output side. The GDP data are combined with population estimates to calculate GDP per capita. We find English per capita income growth of 0.20 per cent per annum between 1270 and 1700, although growth was episodic, with the strongest growth during the Black Death crisis of the fourteenth century and in the second half of the seventeenth century. For the period 1700-1870, we find British per capita income growth of 0.48 per cent, broadly in line with the widely accepted Crafts/Harley estimates. This modest trend growth in per capita income since 1270 suggests that, working back from the present, living standards in the late medieval period were well above “bare bones subsistence”. This can be reconciled with modest levels of kilocalorie consumption per head because of the very large share of pastoral production in agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Broadberry, Stephen; Campbell, Bruce; Klein, Alexander; Overton, Mark; Van Leeuwen, Bas., 2010. "English Economic Growth: 1270 - 1870," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 35, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:35
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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/35.2010_broadberry.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Klaus Desmet & Stephen Parente, 2012. "The evolution of markets and the revolution of industry: a unified theory of growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 205-234, September.
    2. Broadberry, Stephen & Custodis, Johann & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2015. "India and the great divergence: An Anglo-Indian comparison of GDP per capita, 1600–1871," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 58-75.
    3. Edvinsson, Rodney, 2011. "New estimates of Swedish GDP by activity 1665-2010," Stockholm Papers in Economic History 12, Stockholm University, Department of Economic History.
    4. Peter Berg & Mark Staley, 2015. "Capital substitution in an industrial revolution," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1975-2004, December.
    5. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2016. "American colonial incomes, 1650–1774," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(1), pages 54-77, February.
    6. Jesús Gonzalo & Jean-Yves Pitarakis, 2013. "Estimation and inference in threshold type regime switching models," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Empirical Macroeconomics, chapter 8, pages 189-205 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Robert J. Gordon, 2012. "Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds," NBER Working Papers 18315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Alexandra M. de Pleijt, 2011. "The Role of Human Capital in the Process of Economic Development: The Case of England, 1307-1900," Working Papers 0021, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    9. Fouquet, Roger, 2012. "Trends in income and price elasticities of transport demand (1850–2010)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 62-71.
    10. Pirohakul, Teerapa & Wallis, Patrick, 2014. "Medical revolutions? The growth of medicine in England, 1660-1800," Economic History Working Papers 56053, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    11. Roger Fouquet & Peter J.G. Pearson, 2012. "The Long Run Demand for Lighting:Elasticities and Rebound Effects in Different Phases of Economic Development," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    12. Clark, Gregory, 2013. "1381 and the Malthus delusion," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 4-15.
    13. Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2011. "The Malthusian Intermezzo - Women’s wages and human capital formation between the Late Middle Ages and the Demographic Transition of the 19th century," Working Papers 0014, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    14. Bernard Harris & Roderick Floud & Sok Chul Hong, 2014. "Food for Thought: Comparing Estimates of Food Availability in England and Wales, 1700-1914," NBER Working Papers 20177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Broadberry, Stephen & Gardner, Leigh, 2014. "African economic growth in a European mirror: a historical perspective," Economic History Working Papers 56493, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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