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Monks, Gents and Industrialists: The Long-Run Impact of the Dissolution of the English Monasteries

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  • Vollmer, Sebastian
  • Heldring, Leander
  • Robinson, James A.

Abstract

We examine the long-run economic impact of the Dissolution of the English monasteries in 1535, which is plausibly linked to the commercialization of agriculture and the location of the Industrial Revolution. Using monastic income at the parish level as our explanatory variable, we show that parishes which the Dissolution impacted more had more textile mills and employed a greater share of population outside agriculture, had more gentry and agricultural patent holders, and were more likely to be enclosed. Our results extend Tawney's famous ‘rise of the gentry’ thesis by linking social change to the Industrial Revolution.
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Suggested Citation

  • Vollmer, Sebastian & Heldring, Leander & Robinson, James A., 2014. "Monks, Gents and Industrialists: The Long-Run Impact of the Dissolution of the English Monasteries," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100275, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc14:100275
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan Heblich & Alex Trew, 2015. "Banking and Industrialization," CESifo Working Paper Series 5503, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Davide Cantoni & Jeremiah Dittmar & Noam Yuchtman, 2017. "Reallocation and Secularization: The Economic Consequences of the Protestant Reformation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1483, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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