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Lancashire, India, and shifting competitive advantage in cotton textiles, 1700–1850: the neglected role of factor prices1

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  • STEPHEN BROADBERRY
  • BISHNUPRIYA GUPTA

Abstract

In the early eighteenth century, wages in Britain were more than four times as high as in India, the world's major exporter of cotton textiles. This induced the adoption of more capital‐intensive production methods in Britain and a faster rate of technological progress, so that competitive advantage had begun to shift in Britain's favour by the late eighteenth century. However, the completion of the process was delayed until after the Napoleonic Wars by increasing raw cotton costs, before supply adjusted to the major increase in demand for inputs.

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  • Stephen Broadberry & Bishnupriya Gupta, 2009. "Lancashire, India, and shifting competitive advantage in cotton textiles, 1700–1850: the neglected role of factor prices1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(2), pages 279-305, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:62:y:2009:i:2:p:279-305
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2008.00438.x
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    1. Tariff Protection of British cotton 1774-1820s
      by pseudoerasmus in Pseudoerasmus on 2016-12-19 06:01:20

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    Cited by:

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    4. Robert C. Allen, 2007. "Economics, science, and the British industrial revolution," Working Papers 7004, Economic History Society.
    5. Broadberry, Stephen & Ghosal, Sayantan & Proto, Eugenio, 2011. "Is Anonymity the Missing Link Between Commercial and Industrial Revolution?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 974, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    6. Bottomley, Sean, 2014. "Patents and the first industrial revolution in the United States, France and Britain, 1700-1850," IAST Working Papers 14-14, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    7. Bishnupriya Gupta, 2019. "Falling behind and catching up: India's transition from a colonial economy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 72(3), pages 803-827, August.
    8. Broadberry, Stephen & Ghosal, Sayantan & Proto, Eugenio, 2008. "Commercialisation, Factor Prices and Technological Progress in the Transition to Modern Economic Growth," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 852, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    9. Tirthankar Roy, 2012. "Consumption Of Cotton Cloth In India, 1795–1940," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 52(1), pages 61-84, March.
    10. Irmen Andreas, 2020. "Endogenous task-based technical change—factor scarcity and factor prices," Economics and Business Review, Sciendo, vol. 6(2), pages 81-118, June.
    11. Nicholas Crafts, 2010. "Cliometrics and technological change: a survey," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 1127-1147.
    12. Broadberry, Stephen N & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2010. "Indian GDP Before 1870: Some Preliminary Estimates and a Comparison with Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 8007, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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