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High Wages or Wages For Energy? An Alternative View of The British Case (1645-1700)

Author

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  • José L. Martínez González

    (University of Barcelona)

Abstract

Energy was one of the keys to the remarkable increase in English GDP between 1650 and 1700. Increased per head physical activity and basal metabolic rate led to increased energy consumption. In response, subsistence wages, productivity, wages and incomes increased. Malthusian adjustment explains only 50 per cent of the increase in calorie intake, the other 50 per cent is associated with higher energy consumption. Non-agricultural wages began to differ from agricultural wages. British economic development occurred everywhere, in the city and in the countryside. This approach opens new perspectives to the debate between enclosures and open fields and why underemployment became common among the philosophers' British debates.

Suggested Citation

  • José L. Martínez González, 2019. "High Wages or Wages For Energy? An Alternative View of The British Case (1645-1700)," Working Papers 0158, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0158
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    File URL: https://www.ehes.org/wp/EHES_158.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy; physical activity; subsistence wages; incomes; wage gap; Malthusian trap; Seventeenth Century; England;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B11 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Preclassical (Ancient, Medieval, Mercantilist, Physiocratic)
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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