The Early Diffusion of the Steam Engine in Britain, 1700-1800. A Reappraisal
AbstractWe examine the diffusion of steam technology across British counties during the eighteenth century. First, we provide new estimates for the regional variations in the timing, pace and extent of usage of steam engines. Our main data source is an updated version of the list of steam engines erected in Britain during the eighteenth century originally compiled by Kanefsky and Robey (1980). Following a rather established approach for analysing the diffusion of new technologies we fit S-shaped growth functions to the data on the numbers of steam engines installed in each county. In this way, we are able to provide a comprehensive appraisal of the relative speed of the diffusion process in different counties. Second, in order to assess the relative importance of the variables shaping the diffusion of steam power technology, we study the relationship between the number of steam engines installed in each county with of localization factors such as coal prices, availability of water sites, number of textile mills and number of blast furnaces.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2011/03.
Date of creation: 11 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Steam Engine; Britain; Industrial Revolution; Diffusion of innovations;
Other versions of this item:
- Alessandro Nuvolari & Bart Verspagen & Nick von Tunzelmann, 2011. "The early diffusion of the steam engine in Britain, 1700–1800: a reappraisal," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 5(3), pages 291-321, October.
- N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- O14 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-01-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2011-01-23 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2011-01-23 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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- Pulkki-Brännström, Anni-Maria & Stoneman, Paul, 2013. "On the patterns and determinants of the global diffusion of new technologies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 1768-1779.
- Mauro Rota & Luca Spinesi, 2013. "At the Onset of the original capital accumulation," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0179, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
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