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Gibrat’s law and the British industrial revolution

Klein, Alexander and Leunig, Tim (2015) Gibrat’s law and the British industrial revolution. Economic History working paper series (221/2015). The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Gibrat's Law states that the growth of towns and cities is independent of their initial size. We show that the Industrial Revolution was revolutionary enough to violate this law for 1761-1801, 1801-1891, and all decades within. Small places grew more slowly throughout this period. Larger towns, in contrast, typically grew faster, but only if they were in core Industrial Revolution Counties. In line with economic theory, towns grew disproportionately when agglomeration economies exceeded urban disamenities, allowing wage rises that induced workers to migrate to the town. This only occurred in places characterised by new, mechanised industries and mining.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Spatial Economics Research Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N9 - Regional and Urban History > N93 - Europe: Pre-1913
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Research centres and groups > Spatial Economics Research Centre
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2015 11:40
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 23:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/62159

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