Habakkuk thesis

That high wages and labor scarcity stimulated technological progress in the U.S. in the 1800s, and in particular brought about the American system of manufacturing based on interchangeable parts. (This description from Mokyr, 1990; idea from Habakkuk, 1962). Source: Mokyr, 1990, p 165; Habakkuk, 1962, American and British Technology in the Nineteen...
Found on http://www.econterms.com/glossary.cgi?query=Habakkuk+thesis

Habakkuk thesis

The Habakkuk thesis (proposed and named after British economist, Sir John Habakkuk,) is a theory that argued land abundance and labor scarcity led to high wages, which resulted in the search for labor-saving innovations in antebellum America. This ultimately stimulated the growth of machinery and the development of the American System of Manufactu...
Found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habakkuk_thesis
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