No Room to Live: Urban Overcrowding in Edwardian Britain
We study the extent of overcrowding amongst British urban working families in the early 1900s and find major regional differences. In particular, a much greater proportion of households in urban Scotland were overcrowded than in the rest of Britain and Ireland. We investigate the causes of this spatial distribution of overcrowding and find that prices, especially rents and wages are the proximate causes of the phenomenon. In large cities, ports and cities specialising in old heavy industries high rent and overcrowding are more prevalent. Within cities, but not between cities, variations in infant mortality are clearly correlated with measures of overcrowding. All the findings are consistent with a core-periphery view of urban households choosing the location and size of housing to balance the health risks of overcrowding against the risks associated with lower and less regular incomes in places where rents are lower.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as 'Why was urban over-crowding much more severe in Scotland than in the rest of the British Isles? Evidence from the first (1904) official household expenditure survey’ in: European Review of Economic History, 2011, 15 (1), 127-151|
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- Ian Gazeley & Andrew Newell, 2007.
"Poverty In Britain In 1904: An Early Social Survey Rediscovered,"
PRUS Working Papers
38, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
- Gazeley, Ian & Newell, Andrew T., 2007. "Poverty in Britain in 1904: An Early Social Survey Rediscovered," IZA Discussion Papers 3046, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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