Measuring colonial extraction: the east India company's rule and the drain of wealth (1757-1858)
Pilar Nogues-Marco ()
No unige:144406, Working Papers from University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History
This paper revisits the relationship between capitalism and colonialism by examining the case of British India under East India Company rule (1757-1858). The Marxist-nationalist historiography claims that colonialism generated a steady drain of wealth and that this drain was responsible for Indian famines, poverty, inequality, and economic retardation. I use the East India Company budgets to measure the extent of the wealth that was drained through three direct channels: oppressive land taxes, unproductive expenditures on the imperial army and civil administration, and the unrequited export of commodities from India to Britain. I conclude that available figures lend empirical support to the Marxist interpretation. There was a drain of wealth, and its effect on the underdevelopment of former European colonies deserves further research.
Keywords: India; Colonialism; Drain of wealth; East India Company; Marxism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B14 F54 N45 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Working Paper: Measuring Colonial Extraction: The East India Company's Rule and the Drain of Wealth (1757-1858) (2020)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gnv:wpaper:unige:144406
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