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SHELTER FROM THE STORM: HOUSING AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, 1550–1909

Gregory Clark ()

The Journal of Economic History, 2002, vol. 62, issue 2, 489-511

Abstract: Housing was a major item of English consumer expenditure. Yet little is known of its average quality or rental cost. I estimate average rents, constant-quality rents, and housing quality from 1550 to 1909. Constant-quality rents rose substantially relative to other costs of living during the Industrial Revolution. This probably explains why, despite rising real wages, housing quality appears to have declined from 1760 to 1860. There were, however, substantial quality gains in the eighteenth century prior to the Industrial Revolution. The implications of these new series for measurement of growth during the Industrial Revolution are briefly explored.

Date: 2002
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