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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2004025
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  1. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Regional convergence clusters across Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 951-958, April.
  3. Haskel, Jonathan & Wolf, Holger, 2001. " The Law of One Price--A Case Study," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 545-58, December.
  4. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & TABUCHI , Takatoshi & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1553, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-François Thisse, 2006. "Regional Specialization, Urban Hierarchy, And Commuting Costs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1295-1317, November.
  6. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:3:p:939-64 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Richard E. Baldwin, 1998. "Agglomeration and Endogenous Capital," NBER Working Papers 6459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kelly, M., 1996. "The Dynamics of Smithian growth," Papers 96/9, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  11. Philippe Martin & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 1996. "Growth and Agglomeration," Working Papers 1996-14, CEPII research center.
    • 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Martin, Philippe & Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 1996. "Growing Locations: Industry Location in a Model of Endogenous Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1523, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Baldwin, Richard & Martin, Philippe & Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 1998. "Global Income Divergence, Trade and Industrialization: The Geography of Growth Take-Offs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1803, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Walz, Uwe, 1996. "Transport costs, intermediate goods, and localized growth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 671-695, December.
  17. 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.
  18. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1994. "Regional Cohesion: Evidence and Theories of Regional Growth and Convergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1075, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Baldwin, Richard & Martin, Philippe, 2003. "Agglomeration and Regional Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3960, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1998. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 98-1, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Aug 1998.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
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