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Did globalisation aid industrial development in colonial India? A study of knowledge transfer in the iron industry

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  • Tirthankar Roy

Abstract

The article explores the link between international economic integration and technological capability in colonial India. The example of the iron industry shows that many new ideas and skills flowed into India from Europe, but not all met with commercial success. The essay suggests a reason why. In those fields in which the costs of complementary factors were relatively low, the chance of success was higher. This condition was present in the craft of the blacksmith, in which the main complementary input was abundant craftsmanship. The condition was slow to develop in iron-smelting, where the costs of fuel, labour, capital and carriage of ore were initially high.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27396/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 27396.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in Indian Economic and Social History Review, 2009, 46(4), pp. 579-613. ISSN: 0019-4646
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:27396

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Keywords: ISI; TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER; TRADE; INEQUALITY; BRITISH; EUROPE; MODEL;

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  1. Hymer, Stephen H & Resnick, Stephen, 1969. "A Model of an Agrarian Economy with Nonagricultural Activities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 493-506, Part I Se.
  2. Krugman, Paul R & Venables, Anthony J, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-80, November.
  3. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1994. "Why Poverty Persists in India: A Framework for Understanding the Indian Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195632385, September.
  4. G. Hammersley, 1973. "The Charcoal Iron Industry and its Fuel, 1540–1750," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 26(4), pages 593-613, November.
  5. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  6. Dutt, Amitava Krishna, 1992. "The Origins of Uneven Development: The Indian Subcontinent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 146-50, May.
  7. Roy, Tirthankar, 2008. "Knowledge and divergence from the perspective of early modern India," Journal of Global History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 361-387, November.
  8. repec:fth:iniesr:430 is not listed on IDEAS
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