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Technology-Skill Complementarity in Early Phases of Industrialization

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  • Raphaël Franck
  • Oded Galor

Abstract

The research explores the effect of industrialization on human capital formation. Exploiting exogenous regional variations in the adoption of steam engines across France, the study establishes that, in contrast to conventional wisdom that views early industrialization as a predominantly deskilling process, the industrial revolution was conducive for human capital formation, generating wide-ranging gains in literacy rates and educational attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphaël Franck & Oded Galor, 2017. "Technology-Skill Complementarity in Early Phases of Industrialization," NBER Working Papers 23197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23197
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    2. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
    3. Nathan Rosenberg & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2009. "A General-Purpose Technology at Work: The Corliss Steam Engine in the Late-Nineteenth-Century United States," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Studies On Science And The Innovation Process Selected Works of Nathan Rosenberg, chapter 6, pages 97-135 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Dominique Peeters, 2007. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density, and the Transition to Modern Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 183-226, March.
    5. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, September.
    6. FranÁois Crouzet, 2003. "The historiography of French economic growth in the nineteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(2), pages 215-242, May.
    7. Oded Galor, 2011. "Unified Growth Theory and Comparative Development," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 2, pages 9-21, April-Jun.
    8. Mara P. Squicciarini & Nico Voigtländer, 2015. "Human Capital and Industrialization: Evidence from the Age of Enlightenment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1825-1883.
    9. Daudin, Guillaume, 2010. "Domestic Trade and Market Size in Late-Eighteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(03), pages 716-743, September.
    10. Raphaël Franck, 2016. "The Political Consequences of Income Shocks: Explaining the Consolidation of Democracy in France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 57-82, March.
    11. Robert C. Allen, 2003. "Progress and poverty in early modern Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(3), pages 403-443, August.
    12. Oded Galor, 2011. "Unified Growth Theory," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9477.
    13. Claude Diebolt & Magali Jaoul & Gilles San Martino, 2005. "Le mythe de Ferry une analyse cliométrique," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 115(4), pages 471-497.
    14. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1998. "The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 693-732.
    15. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/b0ghejdpldro9c499h4ajc937 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Guillaume Daudin, 2010. "Domestic Trade and Market Size in Late 18th century France," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/b0ghejdpldr, Sciences Po.
    17. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1143-1179.
    18. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonas Hjort & Jonas Poulsen, 2017. "The Arrival of Fast Internet and Employment in Africa," NBER Working Papers 23582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Francesco Cinnirella & Oded Galor & Boris Gershman & Erik Hornung, 2017. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and the Emergence of Labor Emancipation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6423, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan & Oberfield, Ezra & Sampson, Thomas, 2017. "The productivity slowdown and the declining labor share: a neoclassical exploration," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86597, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Raphaël Franck & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2017. "Emigration during the French Revolution: Consequences in the Short and Longue Durée," NBER Working Papers 23936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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