In recent years, scholars from a variety of disciplines have addressed many perplexing questions about the Industrial Revolution in all its aspects. Understandably, economics has become the focal point for these efforts as professional economics have sought to resolve some of the controversies surrounding this topic.
First published in 1985, this collection contains ten key essays written by leading economists on the subject of the Industrial Revloution. Among the questions discussed are the causes for the pre-eminence of Britian, the roles of the inputs for growth (capital, labor, technical progress), the importance of demand factors, the relation between agricultural progress and the Industrial Revolution, and the standard of living debate.
The essays demonstrate that the application of fresh viewpoints to the literature has given us a considerable new body of data at our disposal, making it possible to test commonly held hypotheses. In addition, this new data has enabled economists to apply a more rigorous logic to the thinking about the Industrial Revolution, thus sharpening many issues heretofore blurred by slipshod methodology and internal inconsistencies.
Table of Contents
1. The Industrial Revolution and the New Economic History 2. The Industrial Revolution 1780-1860: A Survey 3. The Inputs for Growth 4. Demand vs. Supply in the Industrial Revolution 5. Industrial Revolution in England and France: Some Thoughts on the Question "Why Was England First?" 6. Food Supply in the United Kingdom During the Industrial Revolution 7. Income Elasticities of Demand and the Release of Labor 8. Industrialization and the European Economy 9. English Worker’s Living Standard During the Industrial Revolution: A New Look 10. The Standard of Living Debate and Optimal Economic Growth 11. Literacy and the Industrial Revolution
'Joel Mokyr has put together an excellent volume containing ten recent essays on the economic aspects of the British Industrial Revolution, casting a new light on its causes, developments, and consequences for the standard of living. The Editor's Introduction provides a detailed analysis of these essays and their implications, and will become an important starting point for the understanding of British economic change in the period from 1760 to 1830.' - Stanley L. Engerman, University of Rochester