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Networks in the premodern economy: the market for London apprenticeships, 1600-1749

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  • Leunig, Tim
  • Minns, Chris
  • Wallis, Patrick

Abstract

This paper examines the importance of social and geographical networks in structuring entry into skilled occupations in premodern London. Using newly digitised records of those beginning an apprenticeship in London between 1600 and 1749, we find little evidence that networks strongly shaped apprentice recruitment. The typical London apprentice did not have an identifiable connection to his master in the form of a kin link, shared name, or shared place or county of origin. The majority of migrant apprentices’ fathers came from outside of the craft sector. Our results suggest that the market for apprenticeship was strikingly open: well-to-do families of all types were able to access a wide range of craft and trade apprenticeships, and would-be apprentices had considerable scope to match their perceived ability and aptitude to opportunity.

Suggested Citation

  • Leunig, Tim & Minns, Chris & Wallis, Patrick, 2009. "Networks in the premodern economy: the market for London apprenticeships, 1600-1749," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28686, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28686
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28686/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Epstein, S. R., 1998. "Craft Guilds, Apprenticeship, and Technological Change in Preindustrial Europe," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 684-713, September.
    2. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2004. "Guilds, efficiency, and social capital: evidence from German proto-industry," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 57(2), pages 286-333, May.
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    4. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2008. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1150-1196, December.
    5. Minns, Chris & Wallis, Patrick, 2009. "Rules and reality: quantifying the practice of apprenticeship in early modern Europe," Economic History Working Papers 27865, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    6. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    7. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
    8. Wallis, Patrick, 2008. "Apprenticeship and Training in Premodern England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(03), pages 832-861, September.
    9. Horrell Sara & Humphries Jane, 1995. "The Exploitation of Little Children: Child Labor and the Family Economy in the Industrial Revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 485-516, October.
    10. Dudley Baines, 1994. "European emigration, 1815-1930: looking at the emigration decision again," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 47(3), pages 525-544, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David de la Croix & Eric B. Schneider & Jacob Weisdorf, 2017. ""Decessit sine prole" Childlessness, Celibacy, and Survival of the Richest in Pre-Industrial England," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2017001, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:413-430 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ana Rincon-Aznar, 2009. "Rates of return and alternative measures of capital input: 14 countries and 10 branches, 1971-2005," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 347, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    4. Matthias Doepke & Joel Mokyr & David de la Croix, 2013. "Apprenticeship and Technological Progress in the Malthusian World," 2013 Meeting Papers 76, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Gani Aldashev & Catherine Guirkinger, 2016. "Colonization and Changing Social Structure: Kazakhstan 1896-1910," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-10, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Marc Klemp & Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis & Jacob Weisdorf, 2013. "Picking winners? The effect of birth order and migration on parental human capital investments in pre-modern England," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 210-232, May.
    7. Minns, Chris & Wallis, Patrick, 2011. "Why did (pre‐industrial) firms train?: premiums and apprenticeship contracts in 18th century England," Economic History Working Papers 41348, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    8. Marc Klemp & Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis & Jacob Weisdorf, 2012. "Family Investment Strategies in Pre-modern Societies: Human Capital, Migration, and Birth Order in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century England," Working Papers 0018, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    9. Klemp, Marc P B & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2012. "Fecundity, Fertility and Family Reconstitution Data: The Child Quantity-Quality Trade-O Revisite," CEPR Discussion Papers 9121, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Minns, Chris & Wallis, Patrick, 2013. "The price of human capital in a pre-industrial economy: Premiums and apprenticeship contracts in 18th century England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 335-350.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Apprenticeship; human capital formation; training; migration; networks; UK; early modern;

    JEL classification:

    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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