Puncturing the Malthus delusion: structural change in the British economy before the industrial revolution, 1500-1800
Patrick Wallis (),
Justin Colson and
David Chilosi ()
Economic History Working Papers from London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History
Accounts of structural change in the pre-modern British economy vary substantially. We present the first time series of male labour sectoral shares 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 agricultural share between the early seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, associated with rising agricultural and especially industrial productivity; Wales saw only limited changes. Our results provide further evidence of early structural change, highlighting the significance of the mid-seventeenth century as a turning point in English economic development.
Keywords: Labour force; sectoral distribution; labour productivity; Britain; Wales (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J21 N13 N33 O14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 56 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-evo, nep-gro, nep-his, nep-hpe and nep-net
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