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The Location of the UK Cotton Textiles Industry in 1838: a Quantitative Analysis

Author

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  • Crafts, Nicholas

    (University of Warwick)

  • Wolf, Nikolaus

    (Humboldt University)

Abstract

We examine the geography of cotton textiles in Britain in 1838 to test claims about why the industry came to be so heavily concentrated in Lancashire. Our analysis considers both first and second nature aspects of geography including the availability of water power, humidity, coal prices, market access and sunk costs. We show that some of these characteristics have substantial explanatory power. Moreover, we exploit the change from water to steam power to show that the persistent effect of first nature characteristics on industry location can be explained by a combination of sunk costs and agglomeration effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Crafts, Nicholas & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2013. "The Location of the UK Cotton Textiles Industry in 1838: a Quantitative Analysis," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 148, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:148
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Industrial Location and Path Dependency during the British Industrial Revolution
      by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2013-10-28 17:03:00
    2. On the many failures of (southern) Italy to catch up
      by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2014-01-20 18:57:07

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    5. Bailey, Roy E. & Hatton, Timothy J. & Inwood, Kris, 2016. "Atmospheric Pollution and Child Health in Late Nineteenth Century Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 10428, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Stuetzer, Michael & Obschonka, Martin & Audretsch, David B. & Wyrwich, Michael & Rentfrow, Peter J. & Coombes, Mike & Shaw-Taylor, Leigh & Satchell, Max, 2016. "Industry structure, entrepreneurship, and culture: An empirical analysis using historical coalfields," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 52-72.
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    8. Juhász, Réka, 2014. "Temporary protection and technology adoption: evidence from the Napoleonic blockade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60697, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Zhao Zhao, 2017. "Spatial concentration of manufacturing firms in China," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96, pages 179-205, March.
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    11. Brian Beach & W. Walker Hanlon, 2018. "Can Migration Make Deadly Recessions Look Healthy? Evidence From Large-scale Linked Microdata," Working Papers 18-22, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    12. Alessandro Nuvolari & Michelangelo Vasta, 2017. "The geography of innovation in Italy, 1861–1913: evidence from patent data," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 326-356.
    13. Vellore Arthi & Brian Beach & W. Walker Hanlon, 2017. "Estimating the Recession-Mortality Relationship when Migration Matters," NBER Working Papers 23507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Francesco Cinnirella & Jochen Streb, 2017. "The role of human capital and innovation in economic development: evidence from post-Malthusian Prussia," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 193-227, June.
    15. Morgan Kelly & Joel Mokyr & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2020. "The Mechanics of the Industrial Revolution," Working Papers 202016, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    16. Berger, Thor, 2019. "Railroads and Rural Industrialization: evidence from a Historical Policy Experiment," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    17. Réka Juhász & Mara P. Squicciarini & Nico Voigtländer, 2020. "Technology Adoption and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Industrialization in France," NBER Working Papers 27503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. W Walker Hanlon, 2020. "Coal Smoke, City Growth, and the Costs of the Industrial Revolution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(626), pages 462-488.
    19. Sarid, Assaf & Mokyr, Joel & van der Beek, Karine, 2019. "The Wheels of Change: Human Capital, Millwrights, and Industrialization in Eighteenth-Century England," CEPR Discussion Papers 14138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Nicholas Crafts, 2014. "Industrialization: Why Britain Got There First," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 214, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    21. Ren Lu & Torger Reve & Jing Huang & Ze Jian & Mei Chen, 2018. "A Literature Review Of Cluster Theory: Are Relations Among Clusters Important?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 1201-1220, September.
    22. Leander Heldring & James A. Robinson & Sebastian Vollmer, 2015. "The Long-Run Impact of the Dissolution of the English Monasteries," NBER Working Papers 21450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Stefan Nikolić, 2018. "Determinants of industrial location: Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the interwar period," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 101-133.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    agglomeration; cotton textiles; geography; industry location;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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