Spinning their wheels: a reply to Jane Humphries and Benjamin Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Jane Humphries and Benjamin Schneider have assembled several large databases of spinners’ production and wages that they believe disprove my view that high wages led to mechanization in eighteenth-century England. This reply examines their data and shows that they have little value for understanding the incentives to mechanize. In addition, I present new evidence that substantiates my earlier estimates of productivity and earnings. The high wage hypothesis is unimpaired by the critique of Humphries and Schneider.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1128-1136
Number of pages9
JournalEconomic History Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics


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