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Vertical integration or specialisation: producing and commercialising cotton goods (1815-1913)


  • Marc Prat Sabartes

    (Universitat de Barcelona)


This article describes the ways in which cotton goods were commercialised during the nineteenth century and the first third of the twentieth. Several national cases are analysed: Britain, as the Workshop of the World; France, Germany, Switzerland and the US, as core economies; and Italy and Spain as countries on the European periphery. The main question that we address is why some cotton industries vertically integrated their production and commercialisation processes, but others did not. We present a model that combines industrial district size and product differentiation to explain why vertical integration was present in most cases and why there was vertical specialisation in Lancashire and Lowell.

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  • Marc Prat Sabartes, 2007. "Vertical integration or specialisation: producing and commercialising cotton goods (1815-1913)," Working Papers in Economics 188, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2007188

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lazonick, William, 1981. "Competition, Specialization, and Industrial Decline," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 31-38, March.
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    JEL classification:

    • N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N80 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • N60 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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