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Deindustrialization in 18th and 19th century India: Mughal decline, climate shocks and British industrial ascent

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  • Clingingsmith, David
  • Williamson, Jeffrey G.

Abstract

India was a major player in the world export market for textiles in the early 18th century, but by the middle of the 19th century it had lost all of its export market and much of its domestic market, primarily to Britain. The ensuing deindustrialization was greatest c1750-c1860. We ask how much of India's deindustrialization was due to local supply-side forces--such as political fragmentation and a rising incidence of drought, and how much to world price shocks. An open, three-sector neo-Ricardian model organizes our thinking and a new relative price database implements the empirical analysis. We find local supply side forces were important from as early as 1700. We then assess the size of Indian deindustrialization in comparison with other parts of the periphery.

Suggested Citation

  • Clingingsmith, David & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2008. "Deindustrialization in 18th and 19th century India: Mughal decline, climate shocks and British industrial ascent," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 209-234, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:45:y:2008:i:3:p:209-234
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2006. "Globalization, de-industrialization and underdevelopment in the third world before the modern era," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(01), pages 9-36, January.
    8. Tirthankar Roy, 2002. "Economic History and Modern India: Redefining the Link," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 109-130, Summer.
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    10. González, Rafael Dobado & Galvarriato, Aurora Gómez & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2008. "Mexican Exceptionalism: Globalization and De-Industrialization, 1750–1877," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(03), pages 758-811, September.
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    12. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "Globalization and the Poor Periphery before 1950," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232502, November.
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