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IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

Strikes and Innovation: The Political Economy of Invention in the Industrial Revolution

Jeremiah Dittmar (CEP, LSE), joint with Jens Aurich

Thursday 09 March 2023 13:00 - 14:00

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About this event

We study conflict in the labor market as a source of induced innovation. Strike activity was associated with significant increases in patented invention during the Industrial Revolution in England. The positive relationship between strikes and invention was strongest in textiles, the most dynamic industry. After labor unions were legalized in 1824, the positive relationship between strikes and invention increased differentially in textiles. Strike activity led to increased invention absent and controlling for shifts in industry-level wages and demand and labor supply trends. Wage data indicate that technical change in textiles was directed towards unskilled, female, and less organized labor.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 13:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Britta Augsburg: britta_a@ifs.org.uk.

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