Overcrowding in British Cities in 1904

25 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2007

See all articles by Ian Gazeley

Ian Gazeley

University of Sussex

Andrew Newell

University of Sussex - School of Social Sciences & Cultural Studies; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: December 2007

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of housing conditions amongst the British urban working class in 1904, using a re-discovered survey. We investigate overcrowding and we find major regional differences. Scottish households were more overcrowded despite being less poor. Investigating the causes of this overcrowding, we find little support for supply-side theories, and none for the idea that Scottish households experienced particularly great variations in income, causing them to commit to overly modest accommodation. However, the Scottish tenancy and local tax laws are probably important in explaining the overcrowding. We provide evidence that Scottish workers generally spent their rent reduction entirely on food, rather than saving.

Keywords: poverty, rent, overcrowding, Scotland, 1904, Bowley

JEL Classification: N33

Suggested Citation

Gazeley, Ian and Newell, Andrew T., Overcrowding in British Cities in 1904 (December 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 3199. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1078888

Ian Gazeley

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/history/profile985.html

Andrew T. Newell (Contact Author)

University of Sussex - School of Social Sciences & Cultural Studies ( email )

Falmer, Brightonm BN1 9QN
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1273 606755 (Phone)
+44 (0)1273 673563 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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