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The High Wage Economy and the Industrial Revolution: A Restatement

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  • Robert C. Allen

    () (University of Oxford - Department of Economics)

Abstract

This article responds to Professor Jane Humphries’ critique of my assessment of the high wage economy of eighteenth century British 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert C. Allen, 2013. "The High Wage Economy and the Industrial Revolution: A Restatement," Published Papers dok24, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rnp:ppaper:dok24
    Note: Language: english
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Victoria Bateman, 2016. "Women and economic growth: the European marriage pattern in the context of modern day countries," Working Papers 16023, Economic History Society.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Judy Z. Stephenson, 2018. "‘Real’ wages? Contractors, workers, and pay in London building trades, 1650–1800," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 71(1), pages 106-132, February.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Jane Humphries & Benjamin Schneider, 2019. "Spinning the industrial revolution," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 72(1), pages 126-155, February.
    9. Robert Allen, 2016. "The Hand-Loom Weaver and the Power Loom: A Schumpeterian Perspective," Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers _142, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. Emmanuel Bovari & Victor Court, 2019. "Energy, knowledge, and demo-economic development in the long run: a unified growth model," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01698755, HAL.
    11. 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, Asociación Española de Historia Económica.
    12. Rota, Mauro & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2020. "Italy and the Little Divergence in Wages and Prices: New Data, New Results," CEPR Discussion Papers 14295, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Fochesato, Mattia, 2018. "Origins of Europe’s north-south divide: Population changes, real wages and the ‘little divergence’ in early modern Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 91-131.
    14. Mario García-Zúñiga & Ernesto López-Losa, 2019. "Building Workers in Madrid (1737-1805). New Wage Series and Working Lives," Working Papers 0152, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    15. Robert C. Allen, 2018. "Spinning their Wheels: A Reply to Jane Humphries and Benjamin Schneider," Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers _166, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    16. James Foreman‐Peck & Peng Zhou, 2018. "Late marriage as a contributor to the industrial revolution in England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1073-1099, November.
    17. Sara Horrell & Jane Humphries & Jacob Weisdorf, 2019. "Working for a Living? Women and Children’s Labour Inputs in England, 1260-1850," Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers _172, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    18. 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.
    19. Moatsos Michail, 2016. "Global Absolute Poverty: Behind the Veil of Dollars," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-28, December.
    20. Robert C. Allen, 2019. "Class structure and inequality during the industrial revolution: lessons from England's social tables, 1688–1867," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 72(1), pages 88-125, February.
    21. Rota, Mauro & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2019. "Why was the First Industrial Revolution English? Roman Real Wages and the Little Divergence within Europe Reconsidered," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 400, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    22. Tom'av{s} Evan & Vladim'ir Hol'y, 2020. "Induced Innovation and Economic Environment," Papers 2004.07814, arXiv.org.
    23. Cristián Ducoing, 2018. "Machinery and horse power prices, 1850-1913," Working Papers 18016, Economic History Society.
    24. José L. Martínez González, 2019. "High Wages or Wages For Energy? An Alternative View of The British Case (1645-1700)," Working Papers 0158, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    high wage economy; industrial revolution;

    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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