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Simulating the Two Views of the British Industrial Revolution

  • C. Knick Harley (a1) and N.F.R. Crafts (a2)

This study examines technical change, trade, economic structure, and growth during the British Industrial Revolution by means of computational general equilibrium (CGE) modeling. It rejects Peter Temin's contention that our “new view” of sectorally concentrated productivity growth is inconsistent with industrial export data. A CGE trade model with diminishing returns in agriculture and realistic assumptions about consumer demand shows that while technical change in cottons and iron were major spurs to exportation of those specific goods, the need for food imports also stimulated exports generally. Incorporating trade data thus enriches our “new view.”

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