University of Cambridge > > Core Seminar in Economic and Social History > The development of the male occupational structure of England and Wales between 1600 and 1850

The development of the male occupational structure of England and Wales between 1600 and 1850

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Historical occupational structures provide excellent insight into economic developments, particularly at sub-national levels, for which they are often the only quantifiable data available. This paper builds on earlier work of the ‘Occupational Structure of Britain 1379-1911’ project. It presents new methods for addressing key challenges in creating reliable occupational structures, such as the allocation of labourers to occupational sectors, and the incorporation of by-employments. It combines the existing dataset of three million parish register observations with a new dataset of one-and-a-half million probate records in such a way that the strengths of each data source are used to neutralise the weaknesses in the other. This results in a set of national estimates at much higher frequency (every twenty years) than were available before, and going back a full century earlier in time, as well as the first set of robust regional and local estimates. These form the basis for a reflection on the existing literature on the long-run history of British industrialisation, in particular on levels of productivity growth and on the balance between national and regional forces of change.

This talk is part of the Core Seminar in Economic and Social History series.

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