The Consumer Revolution: Turning Point in Human History, or Statistical Artifact?
A Farewell to Alms argued based on wages, rents and returns on capital that the English by 1800 were no wealthier than in 1400. An argument against this has been the supposed consumer revolution of 1600-1750. Since ordinary families by 1750 begin routinely consuming former luxury goods, income must have risen much faster than wages through a concomitant industrious revolution. This paper argues that the consumer and industrious revolutions of 1600-1750 are artifacts created by misinterpreting the major source on consumption in these years, probate inventories. Properly interpreted there is no conflict between wages, income and consumption in England 1600-1750.
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- Gregory Clark, 2009. "The Macroeconomic Aggregates for England, 1209-2008," Working Papers 919, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
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25465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins, 2010. "Malthus to Modernity: England?s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800," Working Papers 1013, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
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- Clark, Gregory & Werf, Ysbrand Van Der, 1998. "Work in Progress? The Industrious Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 830-843, September.
- E. A. Wrigley, 2007. "English county populations in the later eighteenth century -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(1), pages 35-69, 02.
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