Past Exam Questions: 3victorian And Edwardian Era

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3Victorian/Edwardian Era (Notes)

Past Exam Questions

Any industrial decline evident in late Victorian Britain can be attributed to inadequate institutions for financing the development of domestic industry. Discuss.

The Englishman’s lack of scientific and technical education has been blamed for the failure to develop new industries and engage in R&D in late Victorian Britain. Is it the case that scientific education was deficient and, therefore, problematic for the development of industry?

Stephen Broadberry has attributed long-term differences in labour productivity between the UK, USA and Germany over the period 1870-1914 to
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Sluggish Demand esp. Export Demand
Export value fell 1873-1896 (though volume rose). Can be blamed on increased comp. but also on lack of production of good quality UK goods
2. Too much overseas Capital Investment
USA/Germany investing 12% of GDP domestically. The UK only 6% and another 4% abroad.
3. Poor Entrepreneurship
Evidenced by low TFP growth. Complacent to live of IR wealth. Failed to move into the ‘right’ industries. Did not attempt to employ rational production techniques such as EoS that would have increased profits.

1) Sluggish Demand
Meyer Counterfactual: If Exports had grown annually at 4.8% (MV), growth would have been 4.7% vs. actual 1.7%
McCloskey: Revised down to 3.7% (still implies failure) . But unobtainable. Assumes that the problem is demand deficient that caused a fall in exports but Ue did not fall that much (lack of data). Growth was instead determined by the growth of factors of prod. (Uncontrolled). Meyer would require popn. To double and the British popn. To save 42% of income.

2) Capital Export
Kennedy/Crafts criticism.
Crafts Counterfactual: If the UK had the savings rates of Germany and USA and concentrated it domestically, the UK would have a GDP figure 25% by 1913.
Crafts: Investors were irrational. Average rate of return abroad 5% vs 12% at home.
McCloskey: Investors not irrational, domestic investment was more risky. Long-term investment like railways or govt bonds vs. equities. Empire