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The Industrial Revolution, an unintended consequence of self-defence?

Leandro Prados de la Escosura ()

IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola

Abstract: This short paper examines Patrick O'Brien's bold reinterpretation of the British Industrial Revolution as a joint result of the expropriation of land by the landed aristocracy, abundant coal endowments, and the unintended consequences of self-defence, in the context of historical literature and contraposes it to evidence on long run growth and inequality and alternative narratives of British industrialisation. It concludes that, by neglecting the contribution of culture and institutions to incentivise investment and innovation, O'Brien lessens the role of the British Industrial Revolution for understanding modern economic growth.

Keywords: Industrial; Revolution; Britain; Mercantilist; State; Agriculture; Coal; Growth; Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N13 N43 N53 O14 O47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-10-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro and nep-his
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