The Race between Population and Technology: Real Wages in the First Industrial Revolution

31 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2020

See all articles by Nicholas Crafts

Nicholas Crafts

University of Warwick

Terence C. Mills

Loughborough University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 2020

Abstract

We investigate a structural model of demographic-economic interactions for England during 1570 to 1850. We estimate that the annual rate of population growth consistent with constant real wages was 0.4 per cent before 1760 but 1.5 per cent thereafter. We find that exogenous shocks increased population growth dramatically in the early decades of the Industrial Revolution. Simulations of our model show that if these demographic shocks had occurred before the Industrial revolution the impact on real wages would have been catastrophic and that these shocks were largely responsible for very slow growth of real wages during the Industrial Revolution.

Keywords: Epidemic disease, industrial revolution, Malthusian checks, nuptiality, population growth, real wages, technological progress

JEL Classification: N13, N33

Suggested Citation

Crafts, Nicholas and Mills, Terence C., The Race between Population and Technology: Real Wages in the First Industrial Revolution (August 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3688122

Nicholas Crafts (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Terence C. Mills

Loughborough University - Department of Economics ( email )

York House
Loughborough LE11 3TU
Great Britain
+44 1509 222703 (Phone)
+44 1509 223910 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
186
PlumX Metrics