Essay on Victorian and Edwardian Economic History

4508 Words Nov 1st, 2013 19 Pages
3Victorian/Edwardian Era (Notes)

Past Exam Questions

Any industrial decline evident in late Victorian Britain can be attributed to inadequate institutions for financing the development of domestic industry. Discuss.

The Englishman’s lack of scientific and technical education has been blamed for the failure to develop new industries and engage in R&D in late Victorian Britain. Is it the case that scientific education was deficient and, therefore, problematic for the development of industry?

Stephen Broadberry has attributed long-term differences in labour productivity between the UK, USA and Germany over the period 1870-1914 to
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It is just a residual.

MFOS discussion
1. Sectoral
Decline of the manufacturing and industry sectors in favour of the service sector. (Problem: requires reweighting of TFP contributions)
UK skilled labour = comp. advantage in service sector which did not see a fall in TFP growth.
Transport, utilities and communications had faster TFP growth in LV
Manufacturing TFP growth only fell from 0.9% to 0.6%
Mining (neg), construction and agriculture growth declined significantly. Geographical problems.

2. Edwardian Period
Included in MFOS data. Worst performing period. 1901-1907: Ind. Prod/head = -0.8%
GDP growth< 0.4%, TFP growth = -0.1%. Edwardian era distorts performance of LV period.

3. Labour
Changing levels of education and work effort

Evidence of Climacteric Decline reduced

Relative Comparison
USA overtook UK in 1880 for GNP. UK anomalous to be the only country not to converge.
Solomou: UK share of world exports 19% - 16% 1872 – 1900. (Level of int. protection?)
USA overtook the UK in industrial and manufacturing prod. in the 1920s. Different resource bases. USA had larger endowment of capital/resources, large market demand and expensive labour = possibility for mass production. UK rationally used labour intensive prod. Cheap, skilled labour, workers reluctance to adopt capital/TUs prevented the UK move into ‘new’ industries and use labour intensive prod. instead.
1913: USA the only country in the world to overtake the UK both in
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