1381 and the Malthus Delusion
What were income trends before the Industrial Revolution? Clark (2007b) argued on both theoretical and empirical grounds that pre-industrial income was fluctuating but trendless, a position Gunner Persson has labeled “the Malthus Delusion.” Steve Broadberry and Bruce Campbell, in support of the Persson position, have recently estimated that English per capita income grew more than three-fold between 1270 and 1800. Here I use the Poll Tax returns to estimate income in 1379-81 from the farming share of employment. England in 1381, with only 55 percent of the population engaged in farming, was at income levels close to those of 1817.
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- Jan Luiten Van Zanden, 2002. "The ‘revolt of the early modernists’ and the ‘first modern economy’: an assessment," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 55(4), pages 619-641, November.
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- Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Joe & Smith, Brock, 2010.
"The Surprising Wealth of Pre-industrial England,"
25468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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"Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
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- Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204, July.
- Broadberry, Stephen & Campbell, Bruce M.S. & van Leeuwen, Bas, 2013. "When did Britain industrialise? The sectoral distribution of the labour force and labour productivity in Britain, 1381–1851," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 16-27.
- Robert C. Allen, 2008. "A Review of Gregory Clark's A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 946-73, December.
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