IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

'De-industrialisation' and colonial rule: The cotton textile industry in Indonesia, 1820-1941


  • Pierre van der Eng



Did colonial rule in Indonesia have a de-industrialising impact? Using the case of the cotton textile industry, this paper finds little evidence. Value added in the industry increased in Java during 1820-71, increased more than three-fold during 1874-1914 and doubled during 1934-41. Most activity involved finishing of imported cotton cloth. Spinning and weaving increased marginally, as high labour intensity of small-scale production, marginal local raw cotton production, and competitive international markets for yarn and cloth precluded domestic production. Unfavourable real exchange rates discouraged investment in modern spinning and weaving ventures. From 1934, production increased rapidly due to trade protection and technological change in small-scale weaving.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre van der Eng, 2007. "'De-industrialisation' and colonial rule: The cotton textile industry in Indonesia, 1820-1941," Departmental Working Papers 2007-04, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2007-04

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brookes, Len, 1990. "The greenhouse effect: the fallacies in the energy efficiency solution," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 199-201, March.
    2. Amory B. Lovins, 1988. "Energy Saving from the Adoption of More Efficient Appliances: Another View," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 155-170.
    3. World Bank, 2006. "Making the New Indonesia Work for the Poor," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8172, The World Bank.
    4. Lewis, Blane D. & Thorbecke, Erik, 1992. "District-level economic linkages in Kenya: Evidence based on a small regional social accounting matrix," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 881-897, June.
    5. Defourny, Jacques & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "Structural Path Analysis and Multiplier Decomposition within a Social Accounting Matrix Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(373), pages 111-136, March.
    6. Benedict CLEMENTS & Hong-Sang JUNG & Sanjeev GUPTA, 2007. "Real And Distributive Effects Of Petroleum Price Liberalization: The Case Of Indonesia," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 45(2), pages 220-237.
    7. Iwan J. Azis, 2000. "Simulating economy-wide models to capture the transition from financial crisis to social crisis," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 34(2), pages 251-278.
    8. François Bourguignon & Anne-Sophie Robilliard & Sherman Robinson, 2003. "Representative versus real households in the macro-economic modeling of inequality," Working Papers DT/2003/10, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    9. Khanna, Madhu & Zilberman, David, 2001. "Adoption of energy efficient technologies and carbon abatement: the electricity generating sector in India," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 637-658, November.
    10. Richard G. Newell & Adam B. Jaffe & Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Induced Innovation Hypothesis and Energy-Saving Technological Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 941-975.
    11. Pyatt, F Graham & Round, Jeffery I, 1979. "Accounting and Fixed Price Multipliers in a Social Accounting Matrix Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 850-873, December.
    12. Binswanger, Mathias, 2001. "Technological progress and sustainable development: what about the rebound effect?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 119-132, January.
    13. repec:lpe:efijnl:199820 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1980. "Economic Implications of Mandated Efficiency in Standards for Household Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 21-40.
    15. Budy Resosudarmo & Erik Thorbecke, 1998. "Reducing the Number of Pesticide- Related Illnesses: The Impact on Household Incomes in Indonesia," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 143-157.
    16. Koop, Gary, 2001. "Cross-Sectoral Patterns of Efficiency and Technical Change in Manufacturing," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 73-103, February.
    17. Resosudarmo, Budy P. & Thorbecke, Erik, 1996. "The impact of environmental policies on household incomes for different socio-economic classes: The case of air pollutants in Indonesia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 83-94, May.
    18. Budy Resosudarmo, 2002. "Indonesia's Clean Air Program," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 343-365.
    19. Pacudan, Romeo & de Guzman, Elaine, 2002. "Impact of energy efficiency policy to productive efficiency of electricity distribution industry in the Philippines," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 41-54, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Pascal Bassino & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2015. "From Commodity Booms to Economic Miracles: Why Southeast Asian Industry Lagged Behind," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 201507, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
    2. Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2013. "The Commodity Export, Growth, and Distribution Connection in Southeast Asia 1500-1940," CEPR Discussion Papers 9364, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item


    Cotton textiles; manufacturing; Indonesia; trade policy; technological change;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L67 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Other Consumer Nondurables: Clothing, Textiles, Shoes, and Leather Goods; Household Goods; Sports Equipment
    • N65 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2007-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sandra Zec) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.