The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Industrial Revolution

  • Gregory Clark
Reference work entry


The term ‘Industrial Revolution’ has come to mean two very different things: first, the transformation the British economy experienced between 1760 and 1850, to become the first modern industrialized, fast-growing economy; second, the general switch between the pre-industrial world of slow technological advance, high fertility and little human capital to the modern world of rapid efficiency gains, low fertility and large investments in human capital. Modern economists’ theories of this second worldwide transition have proved difficult to reconcile with the details of Britain’s transition.


Child mortality Demographic transition Education Enlightenment Family planning Fertility Fertility–income relationship Human capital Industrial Revolution Innovation Malthusian economy Population growth Real wage rates Skill premium Technical change Total factor productivity 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.