IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Network preferences and the growth of the British cotton textile industry, c.1780-1914

Listed author(s):
  • Toms, Steven
Registered author(s):

    The paper considers the dual aspect of social networks in terms of 1) product innovators and developers and 2) the providers of finance. The growth of networks can be explained as a function of incumbents and entrants’ preferences to link with specific nodes defined according to the underlying duality. Such preferences can be used to explain network evolution and growth dynamics in the cotton textile industry, from being the first sector to develop in the industrial revolution through to its maturity. The network preference approach potentially explains several features of the long run industry life cycle: 1. The early combination of innovators with access to extensive credit networks, protected by entry barriers determined by pre-existing network structures, leading to lower capital costs for incumbents and rapid productivity growth, c.1780-1830. 2. The spread of innovation and productivity through value chain linkages during the nineteenth century. 3. The trust movement, joint stock and personal capitalism: the emergence of large firms and a preference for regional financial markets in Lancashire and Scotland. 4. The consolidation of regional instead of national business groups which help explain the decline of the industry. The paper uses case studies of firms, networks, and market institutions based on a mixture of archival evidence, drawn mainly from the financial records of a large sample of cotton firms, and contemporary publications. It stresses human interactions (as opposed to population ecology mechanisms) as determinants of the character, scale and scope of network evolution. Intergenerational features of the networks are identified and classified by these characteristics. Networks were typically bounded in terms of product innovators and less bounded in terms of finance providers. Consequently, finance providers tend to provide the impetus for the rate of network growth in expansion, maturity and contraction phases.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/80058/2/MPRA_paper_80058.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 80058.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 06 Jul 2017
    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:80058
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

    Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
    Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
    Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Lazonick, William, 1981. "Competition, Specialization, and Industrial Decline," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 31-38, March.
    2. Igor Filatotchev & Steve Toms, 2003. "Corporate Governance, Strategy and Survival in a Declining Industry: A Study of UK Cotton Textile Companies," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 895-920, 06.
    3. Macrosty, Henry William, 1907. "The Trust Movement in British Industry," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number macrosty.
    4. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273, August.
    5. Toms, Steven & Zhang, Qi, 2016. "Marks & Spencer and the Decline of the British Textile Industry, 1950–2000," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 90(01), pages 3-30, March.
    6. Robin Pearson & David Richardson, 2001. "Business Networking in the Industrial Revolution[Earlier ve]," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 54(4), pages 657-679, November.
    7. John F. Wilson & Andrew Popp, 2003. "Business networking in the industrial revolution: some comments," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(2), pages 355-361, 05.
    8. Howe, Anthony, 1984. "The Cotton Masters 1830-1860," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198218944.
    9. Mark Casson, 1997. "Institutional Economics and Business History: A Way Forward?," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 151-171.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:80058. 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: (Joachim Winter)

    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.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.