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India's contribution to the British balance of payments, 1757-1812

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  • Cuenca Esteban, Javier

Abstract

The East India Company's "regulated" trade monopoly more effectively served Britain's national interest during the French wars than might be inferred from contemporary complaints and recent scholarship. The Board of Control's assessment of India's importance to the British balance of payments in the 1780s was well informed and was borne out by subsequent developments. British net inflows from India remained substantial through 1765-1812 and were arguably least dispensable. British trade with Asia most frequently outgrew the worldwide totals and retained some of the acquired gains to the end of the period. The real constraints faced by private traders should be weighed against the external economies and scale advantages rendered by the East India Company to a wider range of British interests.

Suggested Citation

  • Cuenca Esteban, Javier, 2006. "India's contribution to the British balance of payments, 1757-1812," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp06-03, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp06-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. H. V. Bowen, 2002. "Sinews of trade and empire: the supply of commodity exports to the East India Company during the late eighteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 55(3), pages 466-486, August.
    2. Anthony Webster, 1990. "The political economy of trade liberalization: the East India Company Charter Act of 1813," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 43(3), pages 404-419, August.
    3. R.C. Nash, 1997. "The Balance of Payments and Foreign Capital Flows in Eighteenth-Century England: A Comment," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 50(1), pages 110-128, February.
    4. Javier Cuenca Esteban, 1999. "Factory costs, market prices, and Indian calicos: cotton textile prices revisited, 1779-1831," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 52(4), pages 749-755, November.
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