The High Wage Economy and the Industrial Revolution: A Restatement

22 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2015

See all articles by Robert C. Allen

Robert C. Allen

University of Oxford - Nuffield College; New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi

Date Written: February 2015

Abstract

This article responds to Humphries's critique of Allen's assessment of the high wage economy of eighteenth‐century Britain 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

Allen, Robert C., The High Wage Economy and the Industrial Revolution: A Restatement (February 2015). The Economic History Review, Vol. 68, Issue 1, pp. 1-22, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2547218 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ehr.12079

Robert C. Allen (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Nuffield College ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

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