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Home Demand and British Industrialization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2009

Sara Horrell
Affiliation:
Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics and Politics, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB3 9DD, United Kingdom

Abstract

Household budget studies are used to assess working-class demand for manufactures over industrialization. Contrary to demand-side proponents, increased urbanization, enhanced opportunities for women's and children's work, and a declining subsistence sector all retrenched consumption patterns into demand for the products of traditional industries and decreased demand for the products of new manufacturing industries. However, consideration of national expenditure on necessities shows an increasing surplus available for discretionary expenditure between 1801 and 1841. This reflects an increased purchasing power of the middle and upper classes that may have manifested itself as substantially increased demand for domestic manufactures.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Economic History Association 1996

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