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

  • Nicholas Crafts

    (University of Warwick)

  • Nikolaus Wolf

    (Humboldt University Berlin)

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://ehes.org/EHES_No45.pdf
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Paper provided by European Historical Economics Society (EHES) in its series Working Papers with number 0045.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0045
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ehes.org

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  1. Schmidheiny, Kurt & Brülhart, Marius, 2011. "On the equivalence of location choice models: Conditional logit, nested logit and Poisson," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 214-222, March.
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  16. Motta, Massimo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1994. "Does environmental dumping lead to delocation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 563-576, April.
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  20. 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.
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