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India and the Great Divergence: Assessing the Efficiency of Grain Markets in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century India

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  • STUDER, ROMAN

Abstract

By analysing a newly compiled data base of grain prices, this article finds that prior to the nineteenth century the grain trade in India was essentially local, while more distant markets remained fragmented. It was only in the second half of the nineteenth century that market integration accelerated, so that by the end of the century a national grain market had emerged. The paper also contributes to the comparative great divergence debate, in that it rejects, for India, the claim of the California School of ‘Asia’ having reached a similar stage of economic development as Europe before the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. In a larger context, this contribution can thus be seen as part of the larger counterrevolution against the iconoclasm of the California School.
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  • Studer, Roman, 2008. "India and the Great Divergence: Assessing the Efficiency of Grain Markets in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century India," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(02), pages 393-437, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:68:y:2008:i:02:p:393-437_00
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    1. Markets & Famine: Amartya Sen is not the last word !
      by pseudoerasmus in Pseudoerasmus on 2015-06-08 17:33:42

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    Cited by:

    1. Dan Bogart & Latika Chaudhary & Alfonso Herranz-Loncan, 2015. "The Growth Contribution of Colonial Indian Railways in Comparative Perspective," CEH Discussion Papers 033, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    2. Robartus J. van der Spek & Bas van Leeuwen, 2013. "Quantifying the integration of the Babylonian economy in the Mediterranean world using a new corpus of price data, 400-50 BC," Working Papers 0047, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    3. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Five Centuries of Latin American Inequality," NBER Working Papers 15305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2017. "Linguistic Distance and Market Integration in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 331, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Allen, Robert C., 2014. "American Exceptionalism as a Problem in Global History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(02), pages 309-350, June.
    6. Chilosi, David & Murphy, Tommy E. & Studer, Roman & Tunçer, A. Coşkun, 2013. "Europe's many integrations: Geography and grain markets, 1620–1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 46-68.
    7. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2010. "Latin American Growth-Inequality Trade-Offs: The Impact of Insurgence and Independence," NBER Working Papers 15680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Paul A. David & S. Ryan Johansson & Andrea Pozzi, 2010. "The Demography of an Early Mortality Transition: Life Expectancy, Survival and Mortality Rates for Britain's Royals, 1500-1799," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _083, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    9. repec:got:cegedp:81 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "History without Evidence: Latin American Inequality since 1491," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 3, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    11. Stefan Mann & Henry Wüstemann, 2010. "Efficiency and utility: an evolutionary perspective," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(9), pages 676-685, August.
    12. Chilosi, David & Federico, Giovanni, 2015. "Early globalizations: The integration of Asia in the world economy, 1800–1938," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-18.
    13. Andrabi, Tahir & Kuehlwein, Michael, 2010. "Railways and Price Convergence in British India," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(02), pages 351-377, June.
    14. Marks, Daan, 2010. "Unity or diversity? On the integration and efficiency of rice markets in Indonesia, c. 1920-2006," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 310-324, July.
    15. Brunt, Liam & Cannon, Edmund, 2013. "Integration in the English wheat market 1770-1820," CEPR Discussion Papers 9504, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2009. "History without evidence: Latin American inequality since 1491," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 81, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    17. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol H, 2016. "Market Integration as a Mechanism of Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 11627, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2015. "Latin American Inequality: Colonial Origins, Commodity Booms, or a Missed 20th Century Leveling?," NBER Working Papers 20915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Ke Yao & Xiao-Ping Zheng, 2016. "A Comparison of Market Integration in Nineteenth-Century China and Japan," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 56(3), pages 246-271, November.
    20. Chilosi, David & Volckart, Oliver, 2009. "Money, states and empire: financial integration cycles and institutional change in Central Europe, 1400-1520," Economic History Working Papers 27884, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    21. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "History without Evidence: Latin American Inequality since 1491," NBER Working Papers 14766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2008. "The ripple that drowns? Twentieth-century famines in China and India as economic history-super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(s1), pages 5-37, August.

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