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Discrimination or Social Networks? Industrial Investment in Colonial India

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  • Gupta, Bishnupriya

    (University of Warwick)

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    Abstract

    Industrial investment in Colonial India was segregated by the export oriented industries, such as tea and jute that relied on British firms and the import substituting cotton textile industry that was dominated by Indian firms. The literature emphasizes discrimination against Indian capital. Instead informational factors played an important role. British entrepreneurs knew the export markets and the Indian entrepreneurs were familiar with the local markets. The divergent flows of entrepreneurship can be explained by the comparative advantage enjoyed by social groups in information and the role of social networks in determining entry and creating separate spheres of industrial investment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 111.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:111

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    1. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
    2. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 1999. "Relationships and traders in Madagascar," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 1-35.
    3. Portes, Richard & Rey, Helene & Oh, Yonghyup, 2001. "Information and capital flows: The determinants of transactions in financial assets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 783-796, May.
    4. James Foreman-Peck, 1989. "Foreign investment and imperial exploitation: balance of payments reconstruction for nineteenth-century Britain and India," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 42(3), pages 354-374, 08.
    5. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
    6. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
    7. Bishnupriya Gupta, 2011. "Wages, unions, and labour productivity: evidence from Indian cotton mills," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(s1), pages 76-98, February.
    8. Morris, Morris David, 1967. "Values as an Obstacle to Economic Growth in South Asia: An Historical Survey," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(04), pages 588-607, December.
    9. Kaivan Munshi, 2011. "Strength in Numbers: Networks as a Solution to Occupational Traps," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 1069-1101.
    10. Morris, Morris David, 1979. "South Asian entrepreneurship and the rashomon effect, 1800-1947," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 341-361, July.
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