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w9/10: Transport and technology /2547

>> Download and print the worksheet.

  • Read the articles below and answer the questions on the worksheet.
  • Remember that you will be marked on participation and engagement and that this contributes to your coursework grade for the module.

** Bring your completed worksheet to the tutorial (as well as the article) **

Primary reading

Crafts, N (2004), The economic impact of ICT: a perspective from the age of steam, The Esmée Fairbairn Lecture delivered at Lancaster University on November 18

Discussion  questions

  1. What parallels does Crafts identify between the economic impact of steam in the 19th century and ICT in more recent decades?
  2. What trends are evident in the cost and relative significance of steam power over the 18th and 19th centuries?
  3. Identify the causal elements in the boom and bust in railways shares in the 1840s and explain the concept of ‘social saving’ in relation to railways
  4. Identify the economic effects on communication and transport that steam power brought over the 19th century. What were the wider consequences of such changes?

Background reading

Allen, R (2009), Engels’ pause: Technical change, capital accumulation, and inequality in the British industrial revolution, Explorations in Economic History, v46 pp418-435

Crafts, N (2003), Steam as General Purpose Technology: A growth accounting perspective, LSE Working Paper No. 75/03, May

Crafts, N, Mills, T and Mulatu, A (2005), Total Factor Productivity Growth On Britain’s Railways, 1852-1912: A Reappraisal Of The Evidence, LSE Working Paper No. 07/05, Feb

Fernihough, A and O’Rourke, K (2014), Coal and the European industrial revolution, University of Oxford Discussion Papers in Economic and Social History, Number 124, January

Kelly, M, Mokyr, J and O Gráda (2013), Precocious Albion: a new interpretation of the British industrial revolution, UCD Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Series,WP13/11, September