Mechanical Innovation in the Industrial Revolution: The Case of Plough Design

34 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2004

See all articles by Liam Brunt

Liam Brunt

NHH - Norwegian School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Abstract

Variations in levels of embodied technology generated variations in English plough prices in 1770. Using plough prices as a quality index, this article explains size and daily output of plough teams. It shows that variations in plough technology were due to technological change - not static optimization - and village plough technology was influenced by neighbouring villages. But technological advance was not constrained on the demand size: farmers purchased the best ploughs available. Rather, local supply of technology was the limiting factor. Technological change, urbanization, and information networks are rejected as explanations of local supply of technology. The key factor was market density.

Suggested Citation

Brunt, Liam, Mechanical Innovation in the Industrial Revolution: The Case of Plough Design. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=513532

Liam Brunt (Contact Author)

NHH - Norwegian School of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen, Hordaland
Norway

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
25
Abstract Views
1,565
PlumX Metrics