The English structural transformation from farming to manufacturing was accompanied by rapid technological change, expansion of trade, and massive population growth. While the roles of technology and trade in this process have been investigated, the literature has largely ignored the role of population growth. We examine population size effects on various aspects of structural development, characterizing their explicit dependence on preference-side and production-side characteristics of the economy, and trade. Our quantitative analysis of the English transformation assigns a major role to population growth, with especially notable contributions to post-1750 rise in the manufacturing employment share and the relative price dynamics.
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics
J11: Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
N13: Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: Europe: Pre-1913
N33: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: Europe: Pre-1913
N53: Economic History: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment, and Extractive Industries: Europe: Pre-1913
N63: Economic History: Manufacturing and Construction: Europe: Pre-1913
O33: Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes