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Domestic Trade and Market Size in Late-Eighteenth-Century France

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  • Daudin, Guillaume

Abstract

Market size is claimed by various economic traditions to be an important factor in explaining the transition to modern economic growth. This paper examines whether differences in market size might explain the retardation of the Industrial Revolution in France. It uses an exceptional source on French domestic trade in a variety of goods in the late eighteenth century: the Tableaux du Maximum. The first part presents this source and the data. The second part assesses whether the data are plausible using a logit theoretical gravity equation. The third part uses the results of this gravity equation to compute the expected market size of specific supply centres. For all types of high value-to-weight goods, some French supply centres reached 25 million people or more. For all types of textile groups, some French supply centres reached 20 million people or more. Even taking into account differences in real, nominal and disposable income per capita, these supply centres had access to domestic markets that were at least as large as the whole of Britain. Differences in the size of foreign markets were too small to reverse that result.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 70 (2010)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
Pages: 716-743

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:70:y:2010:i:03:p:716-743_00

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  1. Morrisson, Christian & Snyder, Wayne, 2000. "The income inequality of France in historical perspective," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 59-83, April.
  2. Carol H. Shiue & Wolfgang Keller, 2004. "Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution," NBER Working Papers 10778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zweimuller, Josef, 2000. " Schumpeterian Entrepreneurs Meet Engel's Law: The Impact of Inequality on Innovation-Driven Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 185-206, June.
  4. Branko Milanovic & Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2007. "Measuring Ancient Inequality," NBER Working Papers 13550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-64, August.
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  13. Desmet, Klaus & Parente, Stephen, 2006. "Bigger is Better: Market Size, Demand Elasticity and Resistance to Technology Adoption," CEPR Discussion Papers 5825, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Thierry Mayer & Keith Head, 2002. "Illusory Border Effects: Distance Mismeasurement Inflates Estimates of Home Bias in Trade," Working Papers 2002-01, CEPII research center.
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Cited by:
  1. Paul A. David & S. Ryan Johansson & Andrea Pozzi, 2010. "The Demography of an Early Mortality Transition: Life Expectancy, Survival and Mortality Rates for Britain's Royals, 1500-1799," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _083, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. McCloskey, Deirdre, 2009. "Foreign Trade Was Not an Engine of Growth," MPRA Paper 19723, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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  1. Historical Economic Geography

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