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Revolutionary change and structural breaks: A time series analysis of wages and commodity prices in Britain 1264-1913

By Catherine Casson and J. M. Fry


In this paper we empirically test the hypothesis that economic revolutions are associated with structural breaks in historical economic data. A simple test for structural breaks in economic time series is applied to British wage and price data from the medieval to the modern period. Evidence for structural change is found in nearly half of the series studied -- suggesting that structural breaks are an intrinsic feature of such historic data. Structural changes are most closely linked to the Commercial Revolution followed by the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, with changes linked to an underlying process of price stabilisation as measured by a decrease in the long-term level of volatility.

Topics: C00 - General, N0 - General, P52 - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
Year: 2011
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