Spinning the Industrial Revolution

  title={Spinning the Industrial Revolution},
  author={Jane Humphries and Benjamin Schneider},
  journal={ERN: Economic Growth (European Economics) (Topic)},
The prevailing explanation for why the industrial revolution occurred first in Britain during the last quarter of the eighteenth century is Allen's ‘high wage economy’ view, which claims that the high cost of labour relative to capital and fuel incentivized innovation and the adoption of new techniques. This article presents new empirical evidence on hand spinning before the industrial revolution and demonstrates that there was no such ‘high wage economy’ in spinning, which was a leading sector… Expand
Italy and the Industrial Revolution: Evidence from Stable Employment in Rural Areas
We provide a first-ever long-run index of wages of stable rural workers in early-modern Tuscany. These wages speak to two longstanding debates. The first concerns whether Italy's early-modernExpand
Technology in the Industrial Revolution
Technological change is about more than inventions. This concise history of the Industrial Revolution places the eighteenth-century British Industrial Revolution in global context, locating itsExpand
The Rise and Fall of the Spinning Jenny: Domestic Mechanisation in Eighteenth-Century Cotton Spinning
In February 1777, Imbert de St Paul, the French government’s inspector of manufactures at Nimes, witnessed a spinning jenny at work for the first time. An experienced member of the state industrialExpand
A Late Maoist Industrial Revolution? Economic Growth in Jiangsu Province (1966–1978)
Abstract According to the conventional wisdom, the promise of the Chinese revolution of 1949 went unfulfilled in the Maoist era. Instead of taking off, the economy grew slowly, and widespread ruralExpand
Proto-industry to Early Industrial Revolution
  • R. Duplessis
  • History
  • Transitions to Capitalism in Early Modern Europe
  • 2019
Throughout Europe, industries revived then grew impressively across the long eighteenth century. Papermills in the Zaan (Holland) annually produced 20,000 reams in 1650, increasing to 160,000 reamsExpand
Drivers of industrialisation: intersectoral evidence from the Low Countries in the nineteenth century
In this paper, we trace the causes of regional industrial development in the nineteenth century Low Countries by disentangling the complex relationship between industrialisation, technologicalExpand
Losing the Thread: A Response to Robert Allen
In an earlier article we used archival and printed primary sources to construct the first long-run wage series for hand spinning in early modern Britain. This evidence challenged Robert Allen's claimExpand
Introduction to the Special Issue
Abstract In the period 1815–1870, several thousand British workers and engineers went to the continent for work purposes, playing a decisive part in European industrialisation. Workers emigratedExpand
The purpose of this paper is to determine trends in the wages and living standards of male agricultural labourers in Central Chile during the agrarian expansion, c. 1870-1930. We found that nominalExpand
The Industrial Revolution and Charles Dickens’ Social Criticism in Oliver Twist and Hard Times
This text focuses on the analysis of the Industrial Revolution through Charles Dickens’ novels Oliver Twist (1838) and Hard Times (1854). By analysing the historical developments and accomplishmentsExpand


The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective
Why did the industrial revolution take place in eighteenth-century Britain and not elsewhere in Europe or Asia? In this convincing new account Robert Allen argues that the British industrialExpand
The High Wage Economy and the Industrial Revolution: A Restatement
This article responds to Professor Jane Humphries’ critique of my assessment of the high wage economy of eighteenth century British and its importance for explaining the Industrial Revolution. NewExpand
Why the Industrial Revolution was British: Commerce, Induced Invention, and the Scientific Revolution
Britain had a unique wage and price structure in the eighteenth century, and that structure is a key to explaining the inventions of the industrial revolution. British wages were very high byExpand
The Spinning Jenny and the Industrial Revolution: A Reappraisal
Why was the Industrial Revolution British? In a recent article published in this Journal, Robert Allen argues that only in England was the price of labor relative to capital high enough to justifyExpand
Locating the industrial revolution: inducement and response
The familiar industrialisation of northern England and less familiar de-industrialisation of the south are shown to have depended on a common process. Neither rise nor decline resulted fromExpand
The Lure of Aggregates and the Pitfalls of the Patriarchal Perspective: A Critique of the High Wage Economy Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution
The newly dominant interpretation of the British industrial revolution contends that Britain was a high wage economy (HWE) and that the high wages themselves caused industrialization by makingExpand
Conjectures and Contrivances: Economic Growth and the Standard of Living in Britain During the Industrial Revolution
This paper presents new estimates of nominal earnings, the cost of living earnings for manual workers in Great Britain over the period 1770 to 1870. The estimates are adjusted to allow forExpand
The Industrial Revolution in Miniature: The Spinning Jenny in Britain, France, and India
  • R. Allen
  • Economics
  • The Journal of Economic History
  • 2009
The spinning jenny helps explain why the Industrial Revolution occurred in Britain rather than in France or India. Wages were exceptionally high relative to capital prices in Britain, so the jennyExpand
The Long March of History: Farm Wages, Population, and Economic Growth, England 1209-1869
The paper forms three series for English farm workers 1209-1869: nominal day wages, the implied marginal product of a day of farm labour, and the purchasing power of a days? wage in terms of farmExpand
The Role of Transportation in the Industrial Revolution: A Comparison of England and France
Szostak develops a model that establishes causal links between transportation and industrialization and shows how improvements in transportation could have a beneficial effect on an economy such asExpand