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Precocious Albion: a new interpretation of the British industrial revolution

Morgan Kelly, Joel Mokyr and Cormac Ó Gráda ()

No 201311, Working Papers from School of Economics, University College Dublin

Abstract: Why was Britain the cradle of the Industrial Revolution? Answers vary: some focus on resource endowments, some on institutions, some on the role of empire. In this paper, we argue for the role of labour force quality or human capital. Instead of dwelling on mediocre schooling and literacy rates, we highlight instead the physical condition of the average British worker and his higher endowment of skills. These advantages meant that British workers were more productive and better paid than their Continental counterparts and better equipped to capitalize on the technological opportunities and challenges confronting them. non-peer-reviewed

Keywords: Industrial revolution; Human capitol; Economic growth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-hrm
Date: 2013-09
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http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4796 First version, 2013 (application/pdf)

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