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Accounting for Breakout in Britain: The Industrial Revolution through a Malthusian Lens

  • Tepper, Alexander

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Borowiecki, Karol Jan

    ()

    (Department of Business and Economics)

This paper develops a simple dynamic model to examine the breakout from a Malthusian economy to a modern growth regime. It identifies several factors that determine the fastest rate at which the population can grow without engendering declining living standards; this is termed maximum sustainable population growth. We then apply the framework to Britain and find a dramatic increase in sustainable population growth at the time of the Industrial Revolution, well before the beginning of modern levels of income growth. The main contributions to the British breakout were technological improvements and structural change away from agricultural production, while coal, capital, and trade played a minor role.

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File URL: http://static.sdu.dk/mediafiles//F/C/0/%7BFC07F40C-24E3-40C2-A9F5-6F55CF208277%7Ddpbe14_2013.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark in its series Discussion Papers of Business and Economics with number 14/2013.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 02 Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2013_014
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Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark

Phone: 65 50 32 33
Fax: 65 50 32 37
Web page: http://www.sdu.dk/ivoe
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