Notes for forthcoming Econ 210b discussion: Tuesday March 7, 2017; Evans 65: 10 am: Robert Allen (2009): The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective | <http://amzn.to/2mR3bKX>
Start with the mysterious "Pseudoerasmus": Random thoughts on critiques of Allen’s theory of the Industrial Revolution:
I love the work of Robert Allen... steel... the Soviet Union... English agriculture. And his little book on global economic history—is there a greater marvel of illuminating concision than that?... His point of departure is always the very concrete reasons that a firm or an industry or a country is more productive than another. I’m not rubbishing institutions or culture as explanations—I’m just saying, Allen’s virtue is to start with problems of production first. Yet I always find myself in the peculiar position of loving his work like a fan-girl and disagreeing with so much of it. In particular, I’m sceptical of his theory of the Industrial Revolution.