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Did globalization aid industrial development in colonial India?: a study of knowledge transfer in the iron industry

  • Tirthankar Roy

The paper explores the link between international economic integration and technological capability in colonial India. The example of iron industry shows that many new ideas and skills flowed into India from Europe, but not all met with commercial success. The essay suggests that in those fields in which the costs of complementary factors were relatively low, the chance of success was higher. This condition was present in the craft of the blacksmith, in which the main complementary input was craftsmanship. The condition was slow to develop in iron-smelting, where the costs of fuel, labour, capital, and carriage of ore were high in the mid-nineteenth century.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27876/
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 27876.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:27876
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/

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  1. Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J, 1994. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 1015, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Roy, Tirthankar, 2008. "Knowledge and divergence from the perspective of early modern India," Journal of Global History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 361-387, November.
  3. Douglas E. Haynes & Tirthankar Roy, 1999. "Conceiving mobility: Weavers' migrations in pre-colonial and colonial India," The Indian Economic & Social History Review, , vol. 36(1), pages 35-67, March.
  4. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  5. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1994. "Why Poverty Persists in India: A Framework for Understanding the Indian Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195632385, March.
  6. Hymer, Stephen H & Resnick, Stephen, 1969. "A Model of an Agrarian Economy with Nonagricultural Activities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 493-506, Part I Se.
  7. Dutt, Amitava Krishna, 1992. "The Origins of Uneven Development: The Indian Subcontinent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 146-50, May.
  8. G. Hammersley, 1973. "The Charcoal Iron Industry and its Fuel, 1540–1750," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 26(4), pages 593-613, November.
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