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New answers to old questions: explaining the slow adoption of ring spinning in Lancashire, 1880-1913

Tim Leunig ()

Economic History Working Papers from London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History

Abstract: This paper re-examines theories previously advanced to explain Lancashire’s slow adoption of ring spinning. New cost estimates show that although additional transport costs and technical complementarities between certain types of machine reduced ring adoption rates, these supply side constraints were not dominant. Instead what mattered most were demand side factors. Lancashire produced far more fine yarns than other countries and that yarn was better spun on mules. Furthermore, Lancashire had a sizeable export yarn trade, a market again more suited to mule spinning. Low ring adoption rates were a positive response to demand patterns dominated by high quality goods.

JEL-codes: N0 B1 R14 J01 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2000
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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22378/ Open access version. (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ehl:wpaper:22378

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