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The economics of abundance: coal and cotton in Lancashire and the world

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  • THEO BALDERSTON

Abstract

As a subterranean, highly elastic energy source, coal played a vital role in the cotton industry revolution. Coal was also vital to Lancashire's primacy in this revolution, because it was necessary both to the original accumulation of agglomeration economies before the steam age and to their reinforcement during the steam age. In no other part of the world was the cotton industry situated on a coalfield, and the response of other parts of the world cotton industry to Lancashire's agglomeration advantages was dispersal in search of cheap water and/or labour power. Lancashire coal helped to shape the global pattern of cotton production.

Suggested Citation

  • Theo Balderston, 2010. "The economics of abundance: coal and cotton in Lancashire and the world," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(3), pages 569-590, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:63:y:2010:i:3:p:569-590
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00453.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00453.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sofia Teives Henriques & Paul Sharp, 2016. "The Danish agricultural revolution in an energy perspective: a case of development with few domestic energy sources," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(3), pages 844-869, August.
    2. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2010. "When, Where, and Why? Early Industrialization in the Poor Periphery 1870-1940," NBER Working Papers 16344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Crafts, Nicholas & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2014. "The Location of the UK Cotton Textiles Industry in 1838: A Quantitative Analysis," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1103-1139, December.
    4. Fernihough, Alan & O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Coal and the European Industrial Revolution," CEPR Discussion Papers 9819, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Stéphane BECUWE & Bertrand BLANCHETON, 2016. "French Textile Specialisation in Long Run Perspective (1836-1938) : Trade Policy as Industrial Policy," Cahiers du GREThA 2016-17, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    6. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "Industrial Catching Up in the Poor Periphery 1870-1975," NBER Working Papers 16809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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