Repository logo
 

Cambridge Working Papers in Economic and Social History

Browse

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 58
  • ItemOpen Access
    By-employments in early modern England and their significance for estimating historical male occupational structures
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2017-01-01) Keibek, Sebastian
    Based on the evidence from probate inventories, by-employments have generally been presumed ubiquitous amongst early modern Englishmen. This would appear to present a significant problem for estimates of the contemporary male occupational structure, since the sources on which these estimates are based describe men almost always by their principal employment only. This paper argues that this problem is vanishingly small, for three reasons. Firstly, the probate inventory evidence is shown to exaggerate the incidence of by-employments by a factor of two, as a consequence of its inherent wealth bias. Secondly, it is demonstrated that even after wealth-bias correction, the probate record greatly overstates by-employment incidence as most of the traces of subsidiary activities in the inventories actually point to the employments of other members of the household, not to by- employments of the inventoried male household head. Thirdly, even if one ignored this and assumed that they did, in fact, point to his by-employments, they are shown to have been relatively small in economic importance compared to the principal employment, and to necessitate only a very minor adjustment of the principal-employment-only male occupational structure.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Correcting the probate inventory record for wealth bias
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2017-01-01) Keibek, Sebastian
    Wealthy, capital-intensive estates are severely overrepresented in historical collections of probate inventories. This paper discusses a new methodology to neutralise the wealth bias in this important historical data source, enabling one to use probate inventories as a source of information on all households, rather than merely on the biased, probated subsection. The methodology is based on establishing the probability of being inventoried – in a certain time period and geographical area – as a function of the value of the decedent’s estate. The probability function is established by means of an iterative fitting process, using occupational information from contemporary parish registers to establish the target values. The inverse of the resulting probability function is subsequently used to reweight the probate inventory dataset. Thereby the historical process which created the inventoried household subsection in the first place is reversed, thus providing an unbiased view of the full population of households. A number of example applications demonstrate the value of the approach.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Institutions for Contract Enforcement: Insiders, Outsiders, and Insurance in Early Modern London
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2017-01-01) Leonard, Adrian
    Marine insurance arrived in London in the fifteenth century, with Mediterranean merchants. Accompanying them was a set of customary practices known as the Law Merchant, which set out the rules and their enforcement. Merchants embraced insurance as a mutually beneficial system of risk-sharing, trading it as a club good, rather than a profit- making investment (although profit was not unwelcome). They resolved disputes internally, based on good faith. This system worked well when underwriting and purchasing were confined to an inter- connected merchant community, characterised as insiders. However, when insuring expanded in the later sixteenth century, many outsiders began to participate. Some new buyers did not wish to observe customary market practice, preferring instead to trade for the maximum personal utility or profit, which drove up total costs. Others possessed different understand- ings of customary practice, or worse, intended to defraud established participants. In this analysis, since the real behaviours of actual individuals often defy theoretical separation into binary categories, outsiders are self-defining, comprising anyone who did not play by the insiders’ rules-of-the-game. In the 1570s, London’s merchant-insurers sought assistance from the state in their effort to deal with outsiders. Institutional responses included a three-stranded programme implemen- ted by England’s Privy Council, and culminated in the establishment of organisations for both the execution and enforcement of agreements. The former comprised 1) the establishment of a policy preparation and registration office, 2) the codification of the existing customs of in- surance in ‘Lombard Street’, and 3) the creation of an official body of adjudicators to preside over insurance disputes. The latter culminated legislation of 1601 which formalised, as the Court of Assurances, the tribunal created earlier. These institutions did not operate in a vacuum. They were entangled in contemporaneous issues, especially the battle between common and civil law, and questions of royal prero- gative and monopoly. They were inhibited by a legal system ill-equipped to handle insurance disputes. However, these problems were overcome when merchant-insurers and the state co- operated to meet the challenge of developing market infrastructure which formalised merchant-insurers’ customary rules. The institutions created were sympathetic to merchant needs, and structured to preserve much of the flexibility which heretofore characterised Lon- don marine insurance. In this way, they served to formalise and entrench merchant practice, and thus to support and advance pre-industrial long-distance trade.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The global rise of patent expertise in the late nineteenth century
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2018-01-01) Pretel, David
    This paper examines the rise of various forms of patent expertise over the course of the second industrialisation. The essential insight here is that patent agents and lawyers, as well as consultant engineers, became, in the late 19th century, critical actors in the production and transmission of patent rights and patented technologies within and among societies. This paper considers three main themes. First, the global institutionalisation of patent agents during the late nineteenth century and their growing centrality in several national systems. Second, the transnational patenting networks created during the 1880s, particularly the activities of associations of patent agents and their impact on the making of an international patent system. Third, the controversial role of patent experts as agents of corporate globalism. The most important point remains that agents’ powers, and their many services to multinational corporations, had enduring consequences on the structure of knowledge property worldwide.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An industrializing region? The West Riding of Yorkshire c. 1755 - 1871
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2005-01-01) Shaw-Taylor, Leigh; Jones, Amanda
  • ItemOpen Access
    A hidden contribution to industrialization? The male occupational structure of London c. 1817-1871
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2005-01-01) Shaw-Taylor, Leigh
  • ItemOpen Access
    The emergence of a mineral-based energy economy: the male occupational structure of Northumberland, 1762-1871
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2005-01-01) Kitson, Peter
    This paper presents a preliminary overview of changes in the occupational structure of Northumberland between 1762 and 1871. It discusses the population trends in the county during the nineteenth century, and the sources available for studying its changing occupational structure from the mid–eighteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. Alterations in the distribution of adult men between the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy for the county, as well as the important towns of Newcastle upon Tyne and Tynemouth, will then be analysed and discussed. An examination of changes in two specific sectors, namely mining and textiles, will follow. It will conclude by offering some tentative conclusions concerning the changing structure of the county’s economy during the Industrial Revolution.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The male occupational structure of Northamptonshire 1777-1881: A case of partial de-industrialization?
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2005-01-01) Shaw-Taylor, Leigh; Jones, Amanda
  • ItemOpen Access
    The male occupational structure of Bedfordshire c.1698-1881
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2005-01-01) Kitson, Peter
  • ItemOpen Access
    Identifying women's occupations in early modern London
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2006-01-01) Erickson, Amy Louise
  • ItemOpen Access
    The nature and scale of the cottage economy
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2008-01-01) Shaw-Taylor, Leigh
  • ItemOpen Access
    The recording of occupations in the Anglican baptism registers of England and Wales, 1690-1799
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2007-01-01) Kitson, Peter
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dirty float or clean intervention? The Bank of England on the foreign exchange market, 1952-72
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2018-01-01) Naef, Alain
    Using over 40,000 new observations on intervention and exchange rates, this paper is the first study of Bank of England foreign exchange intervention between 1952 and 1972. The main finding is that the Bank was unsuccessful in managing a credible exchange rate. By estimating a reaction function, I find that the Bank of England during most of the period refused to intervene on the forward market which was growing in importance. Analysing alternative exchange rates, I show how the Bank failed to maintain credibility in offshore markets. The Bank was eventually forced to manipulate the publication of its reserve figures to avoid a run on sterling.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Clockmakers, milliners and mistresses: women trading in the City of London companies 1700-1750
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2010-01-01) Erickson, Amy Louise
  • ItemOpen Access
    Prospects and preliminary work on female occupational structure in England from 1500 to the national census
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2009-01-01) Field, Jacob; Erickson, Amy Louise
  • ItemOpen Access
    The occupational structure of England and Wales c.1750 to 1911
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2009-01-01) Shaw-Taylor, Leigh
  • ItemOpen Access
    The occupational structure of England c.1710-c.1871
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2010-01-01) Shaw-Taylor, Leigh; Wrigley, Tony; Kitson, Peter; Davies, Ros; Newton, Gill; Satchell, Max
    This paper presents new evidence on the male occupational structure of England c.1710 deriving from c.1000 baptism registers and provides a preliminary analysis of the implications of the data. The key finding is that the secondary sector was perhaps twice as large, in terms of male employment, at the beginning of the eighteenth century as historians have been suggested in recent years. One implication of this is that most of the growth in the relative importance of secondary sector employment, normally associated with the post 1750 period, in fact preceded the eighteenth century. A further implication is that the increase in the productivity of the secondary sector was much larger than has been argued in the national accounts literature. The paper also explores regional differences and documents the scale of de- industrialisation in southern England over the eighteenth century. It also provides a more speculative discussion of likely trends in female employment.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The PST system of classifying occupations
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2010-01-01) Wrigley, Tony
  • ItemOpen Access
    The occupational structure of England and Wales c.1817-1881
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2010-01-01) Shaw-Taylor, Leigh; Wrigley, Tony; Kitson, Peter; Davies, Ros; Newton, Gill; Satchell, Max
    This paper examines the male occupational structure of England and Wales between c.1817 and 1881. The creation of a new quasi-census of male occupational data for c.1817 from parish register data makes it possible, for the first time, to examine reliably the changing male occupational structure over the whole of this period and to do so both in the aggregate and at fine spatial resolution and in sectoral detail. One key result is to show that the secondary sectors’ share of adult male employment grew very little over this period. The basic feature of structural change was a relative shift from agricultural to service sector employment. The secondary sector was much larger at the beginning of the nineteenth century than has been thought hitherto. One implication is that the productivity growth of the secondary sector grew much more rapidly between c.1817 and 1841 than has been suggested hitherto. One likely consequence is that new technology made a much bigger impact on the secondary sector at the aggregate level, than the national accounts literature suggests at present. Moreover, striking tertiary sector growth was a feature of all regions of England and Wales, suggesting that the Industrial Revolution affected all parts of the country and cannot be viewed merely as a regional phenomenon, as has sometimes been argued.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Occupational structure and population change
    (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 2013-01-01) Shaw-Taylor, Leigh; Wrigley, Tony