Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Industrial Revolution Remains One of History's Great Mysteries?

Following on from my previous post, Clark's chapter reviews possible reasons for why the industrial revolution happened in England when it did. He rules out theories based on improved institutions, increased human capital in terms of an increase in quality of children instead of quantity, and increased population driving higher innovation rates (why not China then?). Surprisingly he doesn't cite either Allen's or Wrigley's recent books, though he does reference Hansen and Prescott (2002) - he doesn't like it. So energy doesn't get a mention except to reiterate the arguments of Clark and Jacks (2007). He concludes that: "The Industrial Revolution remains one of history's great mysteries." (p260). But why should we expect just one of these factors to explain the Industrial Revolution. Instead, I think several factors together might very well explain it.

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