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Handbook of Economic Growth by Steven Durlauf, Philippe Aghion

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Chapter 5

The Industrial Revolution

Gregory Clark,    University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA,    gclark@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

The Industrial Revolution decisively changed economywide productivity growth rates. For successful economies, measured efficiency growth rates increased from close to zero to close to 1% per year in the blink of an eye, in terms of the long history of humanity, seemingly within 50 years of 1800 in England. Yet the Industrial Revolution has defied simple economic explanations or modeling. This paper seeks to set out the empirical parameters of the Industrial Revolution that any economic theory must encompass, and illustrate why this makes explaining the Industrial Revolution so difficult within the context of standard ...

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