Spinning Their Wheels: A Reply to Jane Humphries and Benjamin Schneider

9 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2020

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: November 2020

Abstract

Jane Humphries and Benjamin Schneider have assembled several large databases of spinners’ production and wages that they believe disprove my view that high wages led to mechanization in eighteenth‐century England. This reply examines their data and shows that they have little value for understanding the incentives to mechanize. In addition, I present new evidence that substantiates my earlier estimates of productivity and earnings. The high wage hypothesis is unimpaired by the critique of Humphries and Schneider.

Suggested Citation

Allen, Robert C., Spinning Their Wheels: A Reply to Jane Humphries and Benjamin Schneider (November 2020). The Economic History Review, Vol. 73, Issue 4, pp. 1128-1136, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3712329 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ehr.12850

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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