Welfare reform, 1834: Did the New Poor Law in England produce significant economic gains?

  title={Welfare reform, 1834: Did the New Poor Law in England produce significant economic gains?},
  author={Gregory A. Clark and Marianne E. Page},
The English Old Poor Law, which before 1834 provided welfare to the elderly, children, the improvident, and the unfortunate, was a bête noire of the new discipline of Political Economy. Smith, Bentham, Malthus, and Ricardo all claimed it created significant social costs and increased rather than reduced poverty. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, drafted by Political Economists, cuts payments sharply. Because local rules on eligibility and provision varied greatly before the 1834 reform, we… 

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