The first poverty line? Davies' and Eden's investigation of rural poverty in the late 18th-century England

GAZELEY, Ian and VERDON, Nicola (2014). The first poverty line? Davies' and Eden's investigation of rural poverty in the late 18th-century England. Explorations in Economic History, 51, 94-108.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eeh.2012.09.001
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    Abstract

    Two important and well-known surveys of the household budgets of the English rural labouring poor were produced by David Davies and Frederick Eden in the 1790s. We revisit these from the point of view of their original rationale - an investigation of the characteristics and extent of poverty in the countryside. We argue that Davies' standard of 'tolerable comfort' can lay claim to being the first poverty line based upon the application of a minimum consumption standard to household income. We find that the majority of households fall below this standard, although those in the south of England were worst off, that family size was the largest coefficient and poverty reduced as the age of the first child increased. The incidence of poverty was not highly correlated with the absence of a woman wage earner.

    Item Type: Article
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eeh.2012.09.001
    Page Range: 94-108
    Depositing User: Ann Betterton
    Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2014 16:33
    Last Modified: 09 Oct 2018 09:00
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8940

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