British economic growth 1270-1870

Bruce Campbell, Stephen N. Broadberry, Mark Overton, Alex Klein, Bas van Leeuwen

Research output: Book/ReportBook

234 Citations (Scopus)


This is a definitive new account of Britain's economic evolution from a backwater of Europe in 1270 to the hub of the global economy in 1870. For the first time Britain's national accounts are reconstructed right back into the thirteenth century to show what really happened quantitatively during the centuries leading up to the Industrial Revolution. Contrary to traditional views of the earlier period as one of Malthusian stagnation, they reveal how the transition to modern economic growth built on the earlier foundations of a persistent upward trend in GDP per capita which doubled between 1270 and 1700. Featuring comprehensive estimates of population, land use, agricultural production, industrial and service-sector production and GDP per capita, as well as analysis of their implications, this is an essential reference work for those interest in British economic history and the origins of modern economic growth more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages500
ISBN (Print)978-1-107-07078-3, 978-1-107-67649-7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • Britain
  • economic growth
  • population estimation
  • agricultural production
  • industrial production
  • service-sector production
  • national income
  • GDP per head
  • real wage rates
  • consumption
  • income distribution
  • labour productivity
  • international comparisons


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