Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Rage against the machines: new technology and violent unrest in industrializing England


Caprettini, Bruno; Voth, Hans-Joachim (2018). Rage against the machines: new technology and violent unrest in industrializing England. Zurich, Switzerland: UBS International Center of Economics in Society, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Under what circumstances might the adoption of labor-saving technology lead to extreme social instability? This policy brief examines the case of the Captain Swing riots in the industrializing England of the 1830s, bringing new insights to this old episode by collecting original data on the diffusion of the threshing machine, an innovation that led to severe labor unrest in wheat-growing parts of the country. The evidence illustrates that while new technologies typically boost output overall, not everyone benefits – and the losers may not always suffer in silence. Societies need to find ways to cushion the blow of technological unemployment, perhaps by offering alternative work or providing minimum income guarantees.

Abstract

Under what circumstances might the adoption of labor-saving technology lead to extreme social instability? This policy brief examines the case of the Captain Swing riots in the industrializing England of the 1830s, bringing new insights to this old episode by collecting original data on the diffusion of the threshing machine, an innovation that led to severe labor unrest in wheat-growing parts of the country. The evidence illustrates that while new technologies typically boost output overall, not everyone benefits – and the losers may not always suffer in silence. Societies need to find ways to cushion the blow of technological unemployment, perhaps by offering alternative work or providing minimum income guarantees.

Statistics

Downloads

7 downloads since deposited on 26 Nov 2018
7 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Published Research Report
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
03 Faculty of Economics > UBS International Center of Economics in Society
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Date:2018
Deposited On:26 Nov 2018 14:16
Last Modified:06 May 2019 10:37
Publisher:UBS International Center of Economics in Society, University of Zurich
Series Name:UBS Center Policy Brief Series
Number of Pages:8
OA Status:Green
Official URL:https://www.ubscenter.uzh.ch/de/publications/policy_briefs.html

Download

Download PDF  'Rage against the machines: new technology and violent unrest in industrializing England'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 2MB