« Liberalisation, growth and volatility | Main | BoE's King: UK rate cuts not the answer »

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Edward Hugh

Oh, I'm really pleased you've picked up on Greg Clark, I think he's excellent. Especially his work on demographic changes in the UK in the seventeenth century: basically the marriage age cam down and fertility went up. Then the UK discovered it was built on a mountain of coal and started using the extra people to dig it out of the ground, selling the produce abroad and buying grain to feed the higher population with the proceeds. Free trade triumphs over Malthus, a win-win technical change/population growth dynamic takes root and industrial revolution here we come. Fascinating stuff.

This Chapter:


Which is based on this earlier paper:


gets to the heart of the thing.

"Part of the reason for the traditional overestimation of the efficiency gains of the Industrial Revolution was that much of the simultaneous growth of population and living standards in the years 1770-1860, the breaking of the old Malthusian constraints, was created by events outside England. Most of the ability of the economy to sustain both income gains and population growth after 1800 was created by events outside England: specifically lower population growth in England’s trading partners, declining transport costs, the addition to the world economy of the new land of the Americas, and the growing efficiency of the American economy."

Read and enjoy everyone.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • TEST

  • Subscribe in NewsGator Online

Economist Weblogs



  • This is a personal web site, produced in my own time and solely reflecting my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organisation with which I may be affiliated. The information on this site is provided for discussion purposes only, and are not investing recommendations. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities.