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

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  • Crafts, Nicholas
  • Wolf, Nikolaus

Abstract

We examine the geography of UK cotton textiles 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 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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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9626.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9626

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

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  1. 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.
  2. Kurt Schmidheiny & Marius Brülhart, 2009. "On the Equivalence of Location Choice Models: Conditional Logit, Nested Logit and Poisson," CESifo Working Paper Series 2726, CESifo Group Munich.
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  6. Motta, Massimo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1994. "Does environmental dumping lead to delocation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 563-576, April.
  7. Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2011. "History and Industry Location: Evidence from German Airports," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 814-831, August.
  8. Solar, Peter M & Lyons, John S, 2009. "The English cotton spinning industry, 1780–1840, as revealed in the columns of the London Gazette," MPRA Paper 15422, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Becker, Sascha O. & Ekholm, Karolina & Jäckle, Robert & Mündler, Marc-Andreas, 2005. "Location choice and employment decisions: a comparison of German and Swedish multinationals," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,08, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
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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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