IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_8461.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trade Disruption, Industrialisation, and the Setting Sun of British Colonial Rule in India

Author

Listed:
  • Roberto Bonfatti
  • Björn Brey

Abstract

Colonial trade encouraged the colonies to specialise in primary products. Did this prevent in-dustrialisation in the colonies? And did lack of industrialisation, in turn, help to keep the colonies under control? To answer these questions, we examine the impact of the temporary collapse in trade between Britain and India due to World War I, on industrialisation and anti-imperial feelings in India. Exploiting cross-district variation in exposure to the trade shock stemming from initial differences in industrial specialisation, we find that districts more exposed to the trade shock experienced substantially faster industrial growth in 1911-21, placing them on a higher level of industrialisation which has persisted up to today. Using the World War I trade shock as an instrument for industrialisation levels, we also find that more industrialised districts were more likely to express anti-imperial feelings in 1922, and to vote for the Indian National Congress in the landmark election of 1937. These results suggest that colonial trade may have played an important role in preventing colonial industrialisation, and in embedding foreign rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Bonfatti & Björn Brey, 2020. "Trade Disruption, Industrialisation, and the Setting Sun of British Colonial Rule in India," CESifo Working Paper Series 8461, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8461
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp8461.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alexandra de Pleijt & Alessandro Nuvolari & Jacob Weisdorf, 2020. "Human Capital Formation During the First Industrial Revolution: Evidence from the use of Steam Engines," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 829-889.
    2. Jaeger, David A & Ruist, Joakim & Stuhler, Jan, 2018. "Shift-Share Instruments and the Impact of Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 12701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & David Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson & Brendan Price, 2016. "Import Competition and the Great US Employment Sag of the 2000s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 141-198.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Siddharth Chandra & Goran Kuljanin & Jennifer Wray, 2012. "Mortality From the Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919: The Case of India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(3), pages 857-865, August.
    7. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    8. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767.
    9. A. W. Phillips, 1958. "The Relation Between Unemployment and the Rate of Change of Money Wage Rates in the United Kingdom, 1861–19571," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 25(100), pages 283-299, November.
    10. Liu, Cong, 2020. "The Effects of World War I on the Chinese Textile Industry: Was the World’s Trouble China’s Opportunity?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 246-285, March.
    11. Wolcott, Susan & Clark, Gregory, 1999. "Why Nations Fail: Managerial Decisions and Performance in Indian Cotton Textiles, 1890–1938," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 397-423, June.
    12. Kirill Borusyak & Peter Hull & Xavier Jaravel, 2018. "Quasi-Experimental Shift-Share Research Designs," Papers 1806.01221, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2020.
    13. Vellore Arthi & Markus Lampe & Ashwin Nair & Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, 2020. "The Impact of Interwar Protection: Evidence from India," Working Papers 20200043, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised May 2020.
    14. Melissa Dell & Benjamin A Olken, 2020. "The Development Effects of the Extractive Colonial Economy: The Dutch Cultivation System in Java," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 164-203.
    15. Bonfatti, Roberto, 2017. "The sustainability of empire in a global perspective: The role of international trade patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 137-156.
    16. Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & Isaac Sorkin & Henry Swift, 2020. "Bartik Instruments: What, When, Why, and How," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(8), pages 2586-2624, August.
    17. Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2016. "Military Service and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(4), pages 10031035-10.
    18. Sibylle H. Lehmann & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2011. "The Structure of Protection and Growth in the Late Nineteenth Century," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 606-616, May.
    19. Roberto Bonfatti, 2012. "The Sustainability of Empire in Global Perspective: The Role of International Trade Patterns," CESifo Working Paper Series 3857, CESifo.
    20. Inklaar, Robert & de Jong, Harmen & Bolt, Jutta & van Zanden, Jan, 2018. "Rebasing 'Maddison': new income comparisons and the shape of long-run economic development," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-174, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    colonial trade; India; infant-industry argument; decolonisation;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F54 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Colonialism; Imperialism; Postcolonialism
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • N65 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Asia including Middle East

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8461. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.