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Structural Change and Economic Growth in the British Economy before the Industrial Revolution, 1500–1800

Patrick Wallis (), Justin Colson and David Chilosi ()

The Journal of Economic History, 2018, vol. 78, issue 3, 862-903

Abstract: Structural transformation is a key indicator of economic development. We present the first time series of male labor sectoral shares for England and Wales before 1800, using a large sample of probate and apprenticeship data to produce national- and county-level estimates. England experienced a rapid decline in the share of workers in agriculture between the early seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, associated with rising agricultural and especially industrial productivity; Wales saw few changes. Our results show that England experienced unusually early structural change and highlight the mid-seventeenth century as a turning point.

Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:78:y:2018:i:03:p:862-903_00