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Overcrowding in British Cities in 1904

Author

Listed:
  • Gazeley, Ian

    () (University of Sussex)

  • Newell, Andrew T.

    () (University of Sussex)

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of housing conditions amongst the British urban working class in 1904, using a re-discovered survey. We investigate overcrowding and we find major regional differences. Scottish households were more overcrowded despite being less poor. Investigating the causes of this overcrowding, we find little support for supply-side theories, and none for the idea that Scottish households experienced particularly great variations in income, causing them to commit to overly modest accommodation. However, the Scottish tenancy and local tax laws are probably important in explaining the overcrowding. We provide evidence that Scottish workers generally spent their rent reduction entirely on food, rather than saving.

Suggested Citation

  • Gazeley, Ian & Newell, Andrew T., 2007. "Overcrowding in British Cities in 1904," IZA Discussion Papers 3199, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3199
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    Keywords

    poverty; rent; overcrowding; Scotland; 1904; Bowley;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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