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The Location of the UK Cotton Textiles Industry in 1838: a Quantitative Analysis

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  • Crafts, Nicholas

    (University of Warwick)

  • Wolf, Nikolaus

    (Humboldt University)

Abstract

We examine the geography of cotton textiles in Britain in 1838 to test claims about why the industry came to be so heavily concentrated in Lancashire. Our analysis considers both first and second nature aspects of geography including the availability of water power, humidity, coal prices, market access and sunk costs. We show that some of these characteristics have substantial explanatory power. Moreover, we exploit the change from water to steam power to show that the persistent effect of first nature characteristics on industry location can be explained by a combination of sunk costs and agglomeration effects.

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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 148.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:148

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Keywords: agglomeration; cotton textiles; geography; industry location;

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  1. Sascha O. Becker & Karolina Ekholm & Robert Jäckle & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2005. "Location Choice and Employment Decisions: A Comparison of German and Swedish Multinationals," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(4), pages 693-731, December.
  2. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Heterogeneous firms and trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48928, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Timothy Leunig, 2003. "A British industrial success: productivity in the Lancashire and New England cotton spinning industries a century ago," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(1), pages 90-117, 02.
  4. Schmidheiny, Kurt & Brülhart, Marius, 2011. "On the equivalence of location choice models: Conditional logit, nested logit and Poisson," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 214-222, March.
  5. Paulo Guimar�es & Octávio Figueirdo & Douglas Woodward, 2003. "A Tractable Approach to the Firm Location Decision Problem," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 201-204, February.
  6. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  7. Head, Charles Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2005. "Regional Wage and Employment Responses to Market Potential in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 4908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Stephen Redding & Daniel.M Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2007. "History and industry location: evidence from German airports," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3680, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 959-972, November.
  10. Peter Solar & John Lyons, 2011. "The English cotton spinning industry, 1780-1840, as revealed in the columns of the London Gazette," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(3), pages 302-323.
  11. Motta, Massimo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1994. "Does environmental dumping lead to delocation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 563-576, April.
  12. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change And Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089, November.
  13. Ros S, Joan R., 2003. "Why Isn't the Whole of Spain Industrialized? New Economic Geography and Early Industrialization, 1797 1910," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(04), pages 995-1022, December.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Industrial Location and Path Dependency during the British Industrial Revolution
    by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2013-10-28 12:03:00
  2. On the many failures of (southern) Italy to catch up
    by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2014-01-20 12:57:07
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Cited by:
  1. Alan Fernihough & Kevin Hjorstshøj O’Rourke, 2014. "Coal and the European Industrial Revolution," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _124, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

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