EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

A British industrial success: productivity in the Lancashire and New England cotton spinning industries a century ago

Tim Leunig ()

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: This paper uses new product-specific, micro-level US data to show that New England had lower levels of productivity in cotton spinning than Lancashire, c. 1900, contradicting results derived by Broadberry from the Censuses of Production. The discrepancy stems from the Censuses’ poor methods of aggregating heterogeneous yarn output. The finding that Britain – the labour-abundant country – has higher labour productivity contradicts the Rothbarth-Habakkuk model. We suggest Britain’s industrial success stems from more intensive competition, manifested through external economies of scale and longer production runs. We finish with some speculative implications for British performance in the first and second industrial revolutions.

Keywords: cotton; spinning; Lancashire; New England; productivity; Rothbarth-Habakkuk; Chandler; rings; mules; external economies of scale; competition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N0 R14 J01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003-02
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (12) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in Economic History Review, February, 2003, 56(1), pp. 90-117. ISSN: 0013-0117

Downloads: (external link)
http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/494/ Open access version. (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: A British industrial success: productivity in the Lancashire and New England cotton spinning industries a century ago (2003) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ehl:lserod:494

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by LSERO Manager ().

 
Page updated 2020-11-20
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:494