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

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  • Nicholas Crafts

    (University of Warwick)

  • Nikolaus Wolf

    (Humboldt University Berlin)

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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File URL: http://ehes.org/EHES_No45.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Historical Economics Society (EHES) in its series Working Papers with number 0045.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0045

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

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  1. 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.
  2. Melitz, Marc J & Redding, Stephen J., 2013. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 9317, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2006. "Regional wage and employment responses to market potential in the EU," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 573-594, September.
  7. Motta, Massimo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1994. "Does environmental dumping lead to delocation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 563-576, April.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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