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Labour, law and training in early modern London: apprenticeship and the city’s institutions

Wallis, Patrick (2011) Labour, law and training in early modern London: apprenticeship and the city’s institutions. Economic History working papers, 154/11. Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Identification Number: 154/11


Successful apprenticeship is often explained by effective contract enforcement. But what happened when enforcement was weak? This paper reveals that within early modern London, England’s dominant centre for training, the city’s court provided apprentices with near automatic exits from their indentures, and allowed them to recover a share of their premium, reflecting faults and time served. Between 3 and 8 percent of apprentices received court discharges. Easy dissolution was a response to unstable contracts. By supplying a straightforward mechanism to cut legal ties, the city reduced the risks surrounding apprenticeship and facilitated London’s rapid expansion.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 The author
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2012 13:27
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2012 13:34

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