Whether you like to believe it or not, the industrial revolution has enormously impacted the world economy. It increased living standards and paved the way for the spread of industrialism to non-European countries. However, it has also caused an economic disruption and brought about a lot of socioeconomic uncertainty.
Increase in living standards.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the Industrial Revolution improved European living standards. It introduced more efficient production techniques, ushered much of the world into the modern era, and revamped human settlement patterns. In many European countries, small-scale farming and artisan handcrafts were the most important economic activities before industrialization.
The rise in real incomes associated with the industrial revolution significantly transformed the average citizen’s life. Life expectancy at birth increased by five years, and the average person spent a little more time on earth. However, there was a lot of controversy over the exact nature of the increases.
A rise in food consumption accompanied the increase in real incomes. However, the increase in food consumption did not necessarily translate into increased living standards.
The increased life expectancy at birth impacted the material standard of living, but the increase did not translate into an increase in living standards for blue-collar workers. Workers often had to move out of the countryside to work in the cities due to the higher cost of living.
The working class made little to no progress in the early years of the industrial revolution. But as technology advanced, earnings and food consumption increased. The new technological developments have occasionally led to the displacement of workers.
In addition, introducing more advanced technology in the second industrial revolution allowed for more efficient production techniques. These advances also increased the average real incomes of the population of Western economies. The average British worker experienced a steady increase in well-being, although a slight decrease in life expectancy accompanied this.
Spread to non-European countries.
During the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution spread from Great Britain and Europe to Asia, Latin America, and Africa. As the world population grew, the need for new, more efficient production methods increased. In many industrial countries, the tempo of mechanized work increased.
As the Industrial Revolution spread, a new class of workers emerged. The working class included women and children forced to work long, arduous hours. They were also exploited, often breaking into violent acts of rebellion.
The factory system led to harsh working conditions. In addition, the wages were low. These workers lived in constant fear of unemployment. They lived in crowded, filthy slums. In some industrial countries, factory workers often worked 13 hours a day without the right to legal protection.
Many women worked 16 hours a day. The factory system led to poor work discipline and the degradation of craft skills. The factory system also led to the abuse of young women and children. In many industrial countries, the workers lived in unsanitary and unhygienic conditions.
The Industrial Revolution transformed agricultural societies into industrialized ones. It was based on mass-produced commodities, cheap energy, and the mass production of people.
This transformed the social and cultural structure of the world.
After 1850, the first industrialized countries in Europe were Belgium, France, and Germany. They also developed railroads. In France, furniture manufacturing became the dominant industry.
In addition, Germany and France established a national bank in 1800. In Germany, the government introduced accident and old-age insurance for workers in the 1880s.
The Industrial Revolution spread to other parts of Europe, but it took almost a century to reach Russia. By the early 1900s, Europe dominated the world, controlling 34 percent of the global population and 84 percent of the world’s GDP.
Gender inequality in the workplace
Even though women have made progress in the workplace, they still face disadvantages in terms of pay, access to training, and advancement. This is in part due to the way that companies treat women.
The most obvious way to promote gender equality in the workplace is to offer equal pay for equal work. It’s also essential to make sure that you hire women in senior-level positions. However, you must also create a diverse work environment.
A formal job ladder will constrain your ability to promote women up the ladder. Gender-segregated departments can also lead to discrimination in HR practices.
Gender inequality in the workplace is more of a challenge than you might imagine. Women are generally underrepresented in entry-level and mid-level jobs. They are also less likely to receive challenging roles or opportunities at work.
The most important performance measure is “face time.” In a workplace, you reward employees for being at work. Women often face career penalties for being absent from the office for an extended period. Creating a diverse work environment will reduce gender inequality.
“Strategy” is yet another crucial performance indicator. The best action is to establish a workplace where all employees’ interests are supported. Organizational leaders, procedures, and structures can support promoting gender equality.
Ensuring every worker feels welcome is the best way to establish a gender-inclusive workplace. If workers feel comfortable and supported at work, they will be more likely to speak up. Also, employers should ensure no internal bias during the hiring process. For executive roles, this is highly crucial.
Other signs of gender inequality in the workplace include less upward mobility and less career commitment. These differences can have a significant impact on women’s lives.
Inequality in English-speaking countries and the poor countries of Africa and Asia
Despite the gains of the Industrial Revolution, inequality continues to widen in English-speaking countries and the poor countries of Africa and Asia. Inequality affects the growth of incomes and leads to political instability and social unrest. It also hampers economic development.
The report suggests three strategies for making countries more egalitarian. These include regular migration, legislation to tackle prejudice, and using new technology to create jobs. It also recommends strengthening international financial institutions and aid to help the poorest countries integrate into the global economy.
The World Social Report 2020, produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, shows that income inequality has increased in most developed countries. It also shows that inequality is increasing in some middle-income countries.
The report notes that the number of citizens living in poverty is alarming. Life expectancy has increased, but the quality of life for many has not improved. The spread of AIDS has also reduced life expectancy in many countries.
The Gini coefficient, which runs from 0 to 1, can quantify inequality. Gini index values of 0 are highly unequal, while values above 50% are considered middling.
Inequality is also measured nationally using data on consumption and expenditure. The scale of inequality varies between countries and between periods. The average inequality in high-income countries has increased over time, while the average inequality in low-income countries has declined.
Inequality is polarized in the Middle East, despite developments in the English-speaking world and the developing nations of Africa and Asia generally mirroring the average global trend.
Economic disruption with uncertain socio-economic consequences for Africa
Several factors are attributed to the economic disruption with uncertain socio-economic consequences that Africa suffered. Some of the more important ones are higher commodity prices, decreased foreign financing flows, and a less-than-hospitable political climate.
The region is home to 1.2 billion people and comprises a dizzying array of states, including some of the world’s least stable countries. To avoid the doomsday scenario, African policymakers need to do more than talk the talk.
To accomplish this challenging goal, there are numerous actions to be taken. First and foremost, Africa needs to adopt the right policies and enact the proper regulations. Second, they need to reorient their economic development strategies.
In particular, they should focus on improving productivity in agriculture, which is a necessary ingredient for the continent’s developing growth.