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Population growth and manufacturing real wages in 18th century England: a spatial perspective

  • BEHRENS, Kristian

We develop a two-region population growth model of economic geography and show that a process of urbanization has a substantial impact on the evolution of manufacturing real wages. Whereas real wages decline as the population increases when the spatial structure of the economy is fixed, they actually rise in the long-run when factors are mobile. Agglomeration may hence be seen as a rational response to declining real wages and provides a new explanation of why manufacturing real wages did not decline prior to the Industrial Revolution in England, despite a historically unprecedented population growth.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2004025.

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Date of creation: 00 May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2004025
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  1. Martin, Philippe & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I P, 2001. "Growth and Agglomeration," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 947-68, November.
  2. Martin, Philippe & I.P. Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 1999. "Growing locations: Industry location in a model of endogenous growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 281-302, February.
  3. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul & Mori, Tomoya, 1999. "On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 209-251, February.
  4. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
  5. Baldwin, Richard E., 1999. "Agglomeration and endogenous capital," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 253-280, February.
  6. Puga, Diego & Venables, Anthony J, 1998. "Agglomeration and Economic Development: Import Substitution Vs. Trade Liberalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 1782, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Regional convergence clusters across Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 951-958, April.
  9. Behrens, Kristian, 2004. "Agglomeration without trade: how non-traded goods shape the space-economy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 68-92, January.
  10. Richard E. Baldwin & Philippe Martin & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 1998. "Global Income Divergence, Trade and Industrializatiion: The Geography of Growth Take-Offs," NBER Working Papers 6458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Picard, Pierre M. & Zeng, Dao-Zhi, 2005. "Agricultural sector and industrial agglomeration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 75-106, June.
  12. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," Economics Working Papers 104, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  14. Baldwin, Richard & Martin, Philippe, 2003. "Agglomeration and Regional Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3960, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Diego Puga & Tony Venables, 1997. "Agglomeration and economic development: import substitution versus trade liberalisation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2088, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  16. Jonathan Haskel & Holger C. Wolf, 2001. "The Law of One Price - A Case Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 428, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Walz, Uwe, 1996. "Transport costs, intermediate goods, and localized growth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 671-695, December.
  18. TABUCHI, Takatoshi & THISSE, Jacques-François, 2003. "Regional specialization, urban hierarchy, and commuting costs," CORE Discussion Papers 2003060, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  19. Morgan Kelly, 1997. "The Dynamics of Smithian Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 939-964.
  20. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
  21. Ronald Lee, 1980. "A Historical Perspective on Economic Aspects of the Population Explosion: The Case of Preindustrial England," NBER Chapters, in: Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries, pages 517-566 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
  23. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1998. "Population, Technology and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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