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Testable implications of economic revolutions: An application to historic data on European wages

  • Fry, J. M.
  • Masood, Omar
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Motivated by an on-going debate in economic history we develop a simple method to quantify the impact of economic revolutions upon a novel historical data set listing the wages of building craftsmen and labourers in Southeast Europe. Structural breaks are found in the data and signify the effects of economic revolutions. With a small number of localised exceptions economic revolutions, caused by technological and administrative progress, lead to a decrease in the long-term level of wage volatility and overall results suggest close analogies between biological and economic evolution. The Commercial Revolution (mid 16th-early 18th centuries) acts as an important pre-requisite for the later Industrial Revolution (mid 18th-19th centuries). The Price Revolution (15th-16th centuries) results in some short-term increases in wage volatility.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/32812/1/MPRA_paper_32812.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32812.

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Date of creation: 15 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32812
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  1. O’Brien, Patrick, 2010. "A conjuncture in global history or an Anglo-American construct: the British Industrial Revolution, 1700–1850," Journal of Global History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 503-509, November.
  2. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
  3. Harley, C. Knick & Crafts, N.F.R., 2000. "Simulating the Two Views of the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 819-841, September.
  4. Zeileis, Achim & Kleiber, Christian & Kramer, Walter & Hornik, Kurt, 2003. "Testing and dating of structural changes in practice," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 109-123, October.
  5. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
  6. John Foster, 2000. "Competitive selection, self-organisation and Joseph A. Schumpeter," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 311-328.
  7. John H. Munro, 1999. "The Monetary Origins of the Price Revolution' Before the Influx of Spanish-American Treasure: the South German Silver-Copper Trades, Merchant-Banking, and Venetian Commerce, 1470-1540," Working Papers munro-99-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. N. H. Bingham & Rudiger Kiesel & Rafael Schmidt, 2003. "A semi-parametric approach to risk management," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(6), pages 426-441.
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