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Heights and Living Standards of English Workers During the Early Years of Industrialization, 1770-1815

Stephen Nicholas and Richard H. Steckel
The Journal of Economic History
Vol. 51, No. 4 (Dec., 1991), pp. 937-957
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2123399
Page Count: 21
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Heights and Living Standards of English Workers During the Early Years of Industrialization, 1770-1815
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Abstract

We employed data on the heights of English and Irish male convicts transported to Australia to assess the living standards of workers between 1770 and 1815. Falling heights of urban- and rural-born males after 1780 and a delayed growth spurt for 13- to 23-year-old boys revealed declining living standards among English workers during the Industrial Revolution. This conclusion was supported by the fall in English workers' heights relative to that of convicts transported from Ireland. Significant urban-rural and regional variations in English living standards were revealed by using regression techniques.

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