Was there a Victorian Failure in Manufacturing?

Comparisons of Britain’s labour productivity in manufacturing with that of other industrialised countries, such as the USA and Germany, from 1850-1914 suggest no dramatic decline in this sector during the period. However, labour productivity performance at the whole economy level was poor in comparison to other countries. (a) How can this be explained (b) Does Read more about Was there a Victorian Failure in Manufacturing?[…]

Standards of Living during the Industrial Revolution

The debate about living standards in the Industrial Revolution has recently focused on anthropometric measures, such as height and mortality, and linked these to the ability to work more intensively. Describe how these factors may be related. Discuss what the anthropometric evidence reveals about living standards in this period. Anthropometric measures add a new light Read more about Standards of Living during the Industrial Revolution[…]

International Trade and Economic Growth

Does international trade increase economic growth? In this context, what are the trade policies that have been followed by developing countries? Standard textbook economic theory tells us that international trade benefits both parties in the trade, based on the gains from comparative advantage as laid out by David Ricardo. However, recent research into New Trade Read more about International Trade and Economic Growth[…]

What is economic development?

‘What is economic development and how would you measure it? Does an increase in per capita national income always constitute an increase in the standard of living?’ Economic development is hard to define, but is an improvement in the living conditions of the population as a whole. Whilst closely linked with economic growth – high Read more about What is economic development?[…]

Unemployment during the Inter-War period

The 1919-20 reduction in working hours accompanied by the maintenance of the weekly wage has been argued to underlie the rapid rise in unemployment in Britain in the early 1920s and some of the persistence of unemployment through to 1939. To what extent can these aspects of interwar unemployment be attributed to this supply-side change? Read more about Unemployment during the Inter-War period[…]

Europe 2020

Within the overall Europe 2020 strategy, there will be difficult tensions to resolve between social and economic aims, as well as between qualitative progress and quantitative targets. The impact of Europe 2020 on employment and the labour market will be pivotal, because it is the policy domain that straddles the boundary between the EU as Read more about Europe 2020[…]

Technological Revolution

Explain the debate between Allen and Mokyr on the role of institutions and resources in explaining the Industrial Revolution in Britain Mokyr believed that the Industrial Revolution was greatly aided by the technological changes which came about through an increase in scientific knowledge from what he termed the Industrial Enlightenment. This enlightenment came about through Read more about Technological Revolution[…]

The Lewis Model

Describe carefully the Lewis dualistic labour surplus model. Does the Lewis model describe accurately the process of economic development in poor countries? The Model The Lewis model proposes a dualistic economy consisting of a formal, industrial and urban sector, and an informal, agricultural and rural sector. The formal sector is characterised as capital intensive and Read more about The Lewis Model[…]

Minimum Wages

Why have statutory minimum wages become more prominent in recent decades? Why have they generally had little adverse effect on employment? Prior to the introduction of the national minimum wage (NMW) in 1999 there had been no statutory wage floors since the abolishment of the Wages Councils in 1993 by the Conservative government. Growing wage Read more about Minimum Wages[…]

Life at Cambridge Part II

This is a long overdue follow on from my previous post Life at Cambridge, and details my experience of the Cambridge Economics Tripos for 1st year Lent and Easter terms. The Course Lent Microeconomics This term we began by looking at Game Theory, where we cover the basics such as Nash Equilibrium, before moving on Read more about Life at Cambridge Part II[…]