Population Growth and Manufacturing Real Wages in 18th Century England: A Spatial Perspective

34 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2007

See all articles by Kristian Behrens

Kristian Behrens

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE); Université de Bourgogne - LATEC

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

We develop a two-region population growth model of economic geography and show that a process of urbanization has a substantial impact on the evolution of manufacturing real wages. Whereas real wages decline as the population increases when the spatial structure of the economy is fixed, they actually rise in the long-run when factors are mobile. Agglomeration may hence be seen as a rational response to declining real wages and provides a new explanation of why manufacturing real wages did not decline prior to the Industrial Revolution in England, despite a historically unprecedented population growth.

Keywords: population growth, real wages, economic geography, agglomeration, Industrial Revolution

JEL Classification: N13, N33, R11, R12

Suggested Citation

Behrens, Kristian, Population Growth and Manufacturing Real Wages in 18th Century England: A Spatial Perspective (May 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=975903 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.975903

Kristian Behrens (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Voie du Roman Pays
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, b-1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.core.ucl.ac.be:16080/~behrens/

Université de Bourgogne - LATEC

Pôle d'Economie et de Gestion
21066 Dijon Cedex
France

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