Is anonymity the missing link between commercial and industrial revolution?
Broadberry, Stephen, Ghosal, Sayantan and Proto, Eugenio (2011) Is anonymity the missing link between commercial and industrial revolution? Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Dept. of Economics. (Warwick economics research paper series (TWERPS), Vol.2011).
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The Industrial Revolution is often characterized as the culmination of a process of commercialisation; however, the precise nature of such a link remains unclear. This paper models and analyses one such link : the impact of a higher degree of anonymity of market transactions on relative factor prices. Commercialisation raises wages as impersonal labour market transactions replace personalized customary relations. This leads, in equilibrium, to higher real wages to prevent shirking. To the extent that capital and labor are (imperfect) substitutes, the resulting shift in relative factor prices leads to the adoption of a more capital-intensive production technology which, in turn, results in a faster rate of technological progress via enhanced learning by doing. We provide evidence using European historical data that England was among the most urbanized and the highest wage countries at the onset of the industrial revolution.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Industrial revolution -- Great Britain -- Economic aspects, Commerce -- Great Britain -- History, Great Britain -- Economic conditions|
|Series Name:||Warwick economics research paper series (TWERPS)|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick. Dept. of Economics|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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