2012 Discussion Papers
School of Economics Discussion Paper 12/03
British Economic Growth, 1270-1870:
an output-based approach
Stephen Broadberry, London School of Economics
Bruce Campbell, Queen's University Belfast
Alexander Klein, University of Kent
Mark Overton, University of Exeter
Bas van Leeuwen, University of Warwick
This paper reconstructs GDP from the output side for medieval and early modern Britain. In contrast to the long run stagnation of living standards suggested by daily real wage rates, output-based GDP per capita exhibits modest but positive trend growth. One way of reconciling the two series is through variation in the annual number of days worked, but there are also reasons to doubt the representativeness of the sharp rise and fall of daily real wage rates in the late middle ages, which creates the impression of no trend improvement of living standards.
JEL Classification: O11; O40; E01
Keywords: Economic Development; Economic Growth; National Income
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