In this session of the European Macro History Online Seminar series, James A. Robinson, Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor at the University of Chicago, will present on The economic effects of the English enclosures.
Abstract: Using a dataset of the entire universe of English Parliamentary enclosure acts between 1750 and 1830 we provide the first causal evidence of their impact. Using as a source of variation the idiosyncratic success of parliamentarians in promoting legislation we show that enclosures were associated with significant a movement of labor out of agriculture and into industry, a significant increase in crop yields, but also significantly increased inequality. Our results are in line with a literature stemming back to Karl Marx on the effects of enclosure on structural change and inequality, but they do not support the argument that informal systems of governance were able to efficiently allocate common used and governed resources.
This online seminar is part of the European Macro History Online Seminar series. If you wish to attend, please register below for the entire series.