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Subcontracting and Vertical Integration in the Spanish Cotton Industry

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  • Joan R. Roses

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Abstract

This paper examines changes in the organization of the Spanish cotton industry from 1720 to 1860 in its core region of Catalonia. As the Spanish cotton industry adopted the most modern technology and experienced the transition to the factory system, cotton spinning and weaving mills became increasingly vertically integrated. Asset specificity more than other factors explained this tendency towards vertical integration. The probability for a firm of being vertically integrated was higher among firms located in districts with high concentration ratios and rose with size and the use of modern machinery. Simultaneously, subcontracting predominated in other phases of production and distribution where transaction costs appears to be less important.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones in its series Working Papers in Economic History with number wh051302.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wh051302

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  1. Clark, Gregory, 1987. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed? Lessons from the Cotton Mills," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 141-173, March.
  2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  3. Manuel González & Benito Arruñada & Alberto Fernández, 1999. "Causes of subcontracting: Evidence from panel data on construction firms," Economics Working Papers 428, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. George J. Stigler & Robert A. Sherwin, 1983. "The Extent of the Market," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 31, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  5. Caves, Richard E. & Bradburd, Ralph M., 1988. "The empirical determinants of vertical integration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 265-279, April.
  6. Shelanski, Howard A & Klein, Peter G, 1995. "Empirical Research in Transaction Cost Economics: A Review and Assessment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 335-61, October.
  7. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  8. MacDonald, James M, 1985. "Market Exchange or Vertical Integration: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 327-31, May.
  9. Lyons, John S., 1985. "Vertical Integration in the British Cotton Industry, 1825–1850: a Revision," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(02), pages 419-425, June.
  10. Ribas, Josep M. Delgado, 1995. "Mercado interno versus mercado colonial en la primera industrialización española," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 11-31, March.
  11. Temin, Peter, 1988. "Product Quality and Vertical Integration in the Early Cotton Textile Industry," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 891-907, December.
  12. Huberman, Michael, 1990. "Vertical Disintegration in Lancashire: A Comment on Temin," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(03), pages 683-690, September.
  13. Sicsic Pierre, 1994. "Establishment Size and Economies of Scale in 19th-Century France," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 453-478, October.
  14. Joskow, Paul L, 1987. "Contract Duration and Relationship-Specific Investments: Empirical Evidence from Coal Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 168-85, March.
  15. George J. Stigler, 1951. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 185.
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Cited by:
  1. Ching-to Albert MA & Ingela Alger & Regis Renault, 2012. "Experience Benefits and Firm Organization," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2012-007, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Domenech, Jordi, 2007. "Working hours in the European periphery: The length of the working day in Spain, 1885-1920," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 469-486, July.

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