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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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.
|Research Institute, Centre or Group:||Humanities Research Centre|
|Depositing User:||Ann Betterton|
|Date Deposited:||05 Dec 2014 16:33|
|Last Modified:||19 Oct 2016 23:36|
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