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Distributions of Individuals by Type of Occupation for 54 Cities in Britain in the 1820s and 1840s (ICPSR 6423)

Principal Investigator(s): Schonhardt-Bailey, Cheryl


These data were gathered to test a public choice interest group model integrating concentrated and deconcentrated interests with successful lobbying. Data on hundreds of occupations, gathered from commercial directories and court directories for 19th century British cities and towns, were grouped into 15 categories: professional aligned with manufacturing, professional aligned with land, nonaligned professional, manufacturing serving export of light goods, manufacturing serving export of heavy goods, manufacturing serving the domestic market as well as foreign markets, manufacturing serving the domestic market, manufacturing of farm equipment, farming, agricultural agents serving the domestic market as well as foreign markets, agriculture retailers and wholesalers serving the domestic market, other retail/specialty trades/service sector, fishing and shipping, aristocracy/landowners/gentry/titled men of independent means, and military service. Additional information in the dataset include total subscriptions to the Anti-Corn League (in pounds sterling), total city population, number of widows and spinsters, and various derived measures, e.g., export-oriented manufacturers and professionals aligned with manufacturing as a percentage of total occupations.

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Study Description


Schonhardt-Bailey, Cheryl. Distributions of Individuals by Type of Occupation for 54 Cities in Britain in the 1820s and 1840s. ICPSR06423-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1995. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06423.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06423.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • University of California-Los Angeles. Department of Political Science
  • University of California-Los Angeles. Center for International and Strategic Affairs

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    agricultural production, cities, Corn Laws (UK), historical data, manufacturing industry, nineteenth century, occupations

Geographic Coverage:    Global, Great Britain

Time Period:   

  • 1820--1829
  • 1840--1849

Date of Collection:   

  • 1988-01--1988-05
  • 1988-10--1989-04

Universe:    All individuals in 54 British cities in the 1820s and 1840s.

Data Type(s):    aggregate data

Data Collection Notes:

The first record in the data comprises a list of variable names. Consequently, the data have one record more than the number of cases.


Sample:    A systematic random sampling design was used. A sample size of 5 percent was drawn from the commercial directories for each city. However, for cities with over 10,000 listings, a sample of 2.5 percent was drawn and doubled under each occupational category. For a few small villages, at least 35 individuals or the standard 5 percent was drawn--whichever was larger. Samples were drawn for all cities publishing directories for both the mid-1820s and the mid-1840s. Supplementary data were provided by court directories.

Data Source:

(1) Commercial directories and court directories for cities and towns in Britain, various years in the 1820s and 1840s, (2) McCord, Norman. THE ANTI-CORN LAW LEAGUE, 1838-1846. London: Allen and Urwin, 1958, (3) Prentice, Archibald. HISTORY OF THE ANTI-CORN LEAGUE. London, England: W & F.G. Cash, 1853, (4) Export records for 1825, 1830, 1835, 1840, and 1846 housed at the Great Britain Public Records Office


Original ICPSR Release:   1996-01-22

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