"Volume 18 of Research in Economic History" contains six contributions, evenly divided between British and U.S. topics. The first discusses the use of the Charity Commission Reports as a new source for the study of British economic history. These data challenge received wisdom on crowding out during the Napoleonic Wars, the contributions of enclosures to agricultural productivity, and the role of the Glorious Revolution in establishing secure property rights. The second study revisits the more than century old debate about whether nineteenth century industrialization in Britain worsened or improved conditions for child labour. Data from the Parliamentary Papers and the censuses of 1841, 1851 and 1871 confirm high labour force participation rates for older (but not younger) children, particularly in textiles. The third paper investigates the impact of fluctuations in the weather on agricultural output in Britain, and consequently on the level of GDP. Remaining on agricultural topics, but shifting venue to the United States, the fourth essay explores the induced innovation hypothesis using state data.The authors question many of the stylized facts which have been adduced in support of the hypothesis at the national level, and argue that state level investigations permit greater sensitivity to the substantial geophysical and factor price variation within the boundaries of the United States. The fifth paper examines the role of the National Banking System in reducing exchange rate variations (deviations from par) within the United States. The final contribution considers the impact of the introduction of two parallel but completely separate telegraph systems on the operation of U.S. financial markets.
The Charity Commission as a source in English economic history, Gregory Clark; a revival of the pessimist view - child labour and the Industrial Revolution, Carolyn Tuttle; the weather and fluctuations in agricultural output - 1867-1913, Youghesh Khatri et al; induced innovation in American agriculture - an econometric analysis, Alan L. Olmstead, Paul W. Rhode; par clearance in the domestic exchanges - the impact of National Bank notes, Ronnie J. Philips, P.A.V.B. Swamy; the telegraphic transmission of financial asset prices and orders to trade - implications for economic growth, trading volume and securities market regulation, Alexander J. Field.