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Explaining the first Industrial Revolution: two views

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 December 2010

NICHOLAS CRAFTS*
Affiliation:
University of Warwick, N.Crafts@warwick.ac.uk
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Abstract

This review article looks at the recent books on the British Industrial Revolution by Robert Allen and Joel Mokyr. Both writers seek to explain Britain's primacy. This article offers a critical but sympathetic account of the main arguments of the two authors, considering both the economic logic and the empirical validity of their rival claims. In each case, the ideas are promising but the evidence base seems in need of further support. It may be that eventually these explanations for British economic leadership at the turn of the nineteenth century are recognized as complementary rather than competing.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © European Historical Economics Society 2010

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