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THE LONGEST YEARS: NEW ESTIMATES OF LABOR INPUT IN ENGLAND, 1760–1830

Hans-Joachim Voth

The Journal of Economic History, 2001, vol. 61, issue 4, 1065-1082

Abstract: Based on six sets of witnesses' accounts from the North of England and London over the period 1760 to 1830, new estimates of male labor input during the Industrial Revolution are derived. I present a new method of converting witnesses' activities into estimates of labor input, and derive confidence intervals. Working hours increased considerably. Moderate gains in per capita consumption during the Industrial Revolution have to be balanced against this decline in leisure. This adds further weight to pessimistic interpretations: I calculate that consumption per capita, adjusted for changes in leisure, remained essentially unchanged between 1760 and 1830.

Date: 2001
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