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The High wage Economy and the Industrial Revolution: A Restatement

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  • Robert Allen

Abstract

This article responds to Professor Jane Humphries' critique of my assessment of the high wage economy of eighteenth century Britain and its importance for explaining the Industrial Revolution. New Evidence is presented to show that women and children participated in the high wage economy. It is also shown that the high wage economy provides a good explanation of why the Industrial Revolution happened in the eighteenth century by showing that increases of women's wages around 1700 greatly increased the profitability of using spinning machinery. The relationship between the high wage economy of the eighteenth century and the inequality and poverty in Britain in the nineteenth century is explored.

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  • Robert Allen, 2013. "The High wage Economy and the Industrial Revolution: A Restatement," Economics Series Working Papers Number 115, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:number-115
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert C. Allen, 2016. "The Hand-Loom Weaver and the Power Loom: A Schumpeterian Perspective," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _142, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    2. Deng, Kent & O'Brien, Patrick, 2017. "How Well Did Facts Travel to Support Protracted Debate on the History of the Great Divergence between Western Europe and Imperial China?," MPRA Paper 77290, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Stefan Oliver Houpt & Juan Carlos Rojo Cagigal, 2014. "Relative deprivation and labour conflict during Spain’s industrialization: the Bilbao estuary, 1914–1936," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 8(3), pages 335-369, September.
    4. Robert C. Allen, 2017. "Class Structure and Inequality during the Industrial Revolution: Lessons from England’s Social Tables, 1688-1867," Working Papers 20170002, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised May 2017.
    5. Deng, Kent & O'Brien, Patrick, 2017. "How well did facts travel to support protracted debate on the history of the Great Divergence between Western Europe and Imperial China?," Economic History Working Papers 69923, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    6. Ernesto López Losa & Santiago Piquero Zarauz, 2016. "Spanish real wages in the Northern-Western European mirror, 1500-1800. On the timings and magnitude of the Little Divergence in Europe," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1607, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
    7. Robert C. Allen, 2017. "The Hand-Loom Weaver and the Power Loom: A Schumpeterian Perspective REVISED," Working Papers 20170004, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised May 2017.
    8. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546.," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346 Elsevier.

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    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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