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

Listed author(s):
  • Crafts, Nicholas

    (University of Warwick)

  • Wolf, Nikolaus

    (Humboldt University)

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.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/148-2013_crafts.pdf
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Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 148.

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Date of creation: 2013
Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:148
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  1. Brülhart, Marius & Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2009. "On the Equivalence of Location Choice Models: Conditional Logit, Nested Logit and Poisson," CEPR Discussion Papers 7379, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Becker, Sascha O. & Ekholm, Karolina & Jäckle, Robert & Mündler, Marc-Andreas, 2005. "Location choice and employment decisions: a comparison of German and Swedish multinationals," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,08, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp1183, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273, December.
  5. Solar, Peter M & Lyons, John S, 2009. "The English cotton spinning industry, 1780–1840, as revealed in the columns of the London Gazette," MPRA Paper 15422, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Ros S, Joan R., 2003. "Why Isn't the Whole of Spain Industrialized? New Economic Geography and Early Industrialization, 1797 1910," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(04), pages 995-1022, December.
  7. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
  8. Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2011. "History and Industry Location: Evidence from German Airports," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 814-831, August.
  9. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Firms in the European Union," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00267438, HAL.
  10. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2002. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3455, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Miren Lafourcade & Jacques-François Thisse, 2008. "New economic geography: A guide to transport analysis," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586878, HAL.
  12. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2006. "Regional wage and employment responses to market potential in the EU," Post-Print halshs-00754132, HAL.
  13. Tim Leunig, 2003. "A British industrial success: productivity in the Lancashire and New England cotton spinning industries a century ago," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 494, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10192 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Motta, Massimo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1994. "Does environmental dumping lead to delocation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 563-576, April.
  16. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089.
  17. Paulo Guimaraes & Octavio Figueiredo & Douglas Woodward, 2000. "A tractable approach to the firm location decision problem," NIMA Working Papers 2, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  18. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586878 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Theo Balderston, 2010. "The economics of abundance: coal and cotton in Lancashire and the world," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(3), pages 569-590, 08.
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