Four centuries of British economic growth: the roles of technology and population

Research paper by Jakob B. Madsen, James B. Ang, Rajabrata Banerjee

Indexed on: 21 Oct '10Published on: 21 Oct '10Published in: Journal of Economic Growth


Using long historical data for Britain over the period 1620–2006, this paper seeks to explain the importance of innovative activity, population growth and other factors in inducing the transition from the Malthusian trap to the post-Malthusian growth regime. Furthermore, the paper tests the ability of two competing second-generation endogenous growth models to account for the British growth experience. The results suggest that innovative activity was an important force in shaping the Industrial Revolution and that the British growth experience is consistent with Schumpeterian growth theory.