Accounting for Breakout in Britain: The Industrial Revolution through a Malthusian Lens
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.
|Date of creation:||02 Oct 2013|
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- Antras, Pol & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2003.
"Factor Prices and Productivity Growth During the British Industrial Revolution,"
3199066, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Antras, Pol & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2003. "Factor prices and productivity growth during the British industrial revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 52-77, January.
- Pol Antràs & Hans Joachim Voth, 2000. "Factor prices and productivity growth during the British Industrial Revolution," Economics Working Papers 495, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Joseph & Smith, Brock, 2012. "Malthus, Wages, and Preindustrial Growth," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(02), pages 364-392, June.
- Stephen Broadberry & Bruce Campbell & Alexander Klein & Mark Overton & Bas van Leeuwen, 2012. "British Economic Growth, 1270-1870: an output-based approach," Studies in Economics 1203, School of Economics, University of Kent.
- Allen, Robert C., 2000. "Economic structure and agricultural productivity in Europe, 1300 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 1-25, April.
- Broadberry, Stephen & Campbell, Bruce M.S. & van Leeuwen, Bas, 2013. "When did Britain industrialise? The sectoral distribution of the labour force and labour productivity in Britain, 1381–1851," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 16-27.
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