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1381 and the Malthus Delusion

  • Clark, Gregory

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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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25466.

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Date of creation: 31 Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25466
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  1. Gregory Clark & Michael Huberman & Peter H. Lindert, 1995. "A British food puzzle, 1770–1850," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(2), pages 215-237, 05.
  2. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Joseph & Smith, Brock, 2012. "Malthus, Wages, and Preindustrial Growth," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(02), pages 364-392, June.
  3. Clark, Gregory, 2010. "The Consumer Revolution: Turning Point in Human History, or Statistical Artifact?," MPRA Paper 25467, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Joe & Smith, Brock, 2010. "The Surprising Wealth of Pre-industrial England," MPRA Paper 25468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Persson, Karl Gunnar, 2008. "The Malthus delusion," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 165-173, August.
  6. 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.
  7. Rodney Edvinsson & Johan Söderberg, 2011. "A Consumer Price Index For Sweden, 1290–2008," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(2), pages 270-292, 06.
  8. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204, March.
  9. Gregory Clark, 2009. "The Macroeconomic Aggregates for England, 1209-2008," Working Papers 919, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  10. Broadberry, Stephen; Campbell, Bruce; Klein, Alexander; Overton, Mark; Van Leeuwen, Bas., 2010. "English Economic Growth: 1270 - 1870," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 35, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  11. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
    [A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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