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The Price of Time and Labour Supply: From the Black Death to the Industrious Revolution

Author

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  • Mark Koyama

    (Wadham College and Department of Economics, University of Oxford, UK.)

Abstract

In pre-industrial economies labour supply curves often bend backwards at very low levels of income. This changed prior to the industrial revolution: total working hours increased (De Vries (1993, Voth (1998,2000). This paper examines this industrious revolution using a model of labour supply where consumption takes time. This analytical framework enables us to draw a distinction between a pessimistic account of the industrious revolution as suggested by Van Zanden (2006) and an optimistic account advanced by de Vries (2008) of an industrious revolution driven by changing patterns of demand. This formulation clarifies the importance of new consumption opportunities in driving hours worked.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Koyama, 2009. "The Price of Time and Labour Supply: From the Black Death to the Industrious Revolution," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _078, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_078
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/4234/78koyama.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Harley, C. Knick, 1982. "British Industrialization Before 1841: Evidence of Slower Growth During the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 267-289, June.
    4. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006.
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    7. Grantham, George, 1989. "Agricultural Supply During the Industrial Revolution: French Evidence and European Implications," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(01), pages 43-72, March.
    8. de Vries,Jan, 1976. "The Economy of Europe in an Age of Crisis, 1600–1750," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521290500, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul A. David & S. Ryan Johansson & Andrea Pozzi, 2010. "The Demography of an Early Mortality Transition: Life Expectancy, Survival and Mortality Rates for Britain's Royals, 1500-1799," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _083, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    2. Paul A. David & S. Ryan Johansson & Andrea Pozzi, 2010. "The Demography of an Early Mortality Transition: Life Expectancy, Survival and Mortality Rates for Britain's Royals, 1500-1799," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _083, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour supply; industrious revolution; consumption; time allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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