Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2319855
 


 



Precocious Albion: A New Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution


Morgan Kelly


University College Dublin (UCD) - Department of Economics

Joel Mokyr


Northwestern University - Department of Economics

Cormac O'Grada


University College Dublin (UCD)

September 3, 2013


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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

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Date posted: September 4, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Kelly, Morgan and Mokyr, Joel and O'Grada, Cormac, Precocious Albion: A New Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution (September 3, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2319855 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2319855

Contact Information

Morgan Kelly
University College Dublin (UCD) - Department of Economics ( email )
Belfield
Dublin 4, Dublin 4
Ireland
+353 1 706 8611 (Phone)
+353 1 283 0068 (Fax)
Joel Mokyr
Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )
2003 Sheridan Road
2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
708-491-5693 (Phone)
708-491-7001 (Fax)
Cormac O'Grada (Contact Author)
University College Dublin (UCD) ( email )
Dublin 4, 4
Ireland

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