NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Mughal Decline, Climate Change, and Britain's Industrial Ascent: An Integrated Perspective on India's 18th and 19th Century Deindustrialization

David Clingingsmith, Jeffrey G. Williamson

NBER Working Paper No. 11730
Issued in November 2005
NBER Program(s):   DAE

India was a major player in the world export market for textiles in the early 18th century, but by the middle of the 19th century it had lost all of its export market and much of its domestic market. India underwent secular deindustrialization as a consequence. While India produced about 25 percent of world industrial output in 1750, this figure had fallen to only 2 percent by 1900. We ask how much of India's deindustrialization was due to local supply-side forces -- such as political fragmentation in the 18th century and rising incidence of drought between the early 18th and 19th century, and how much to world price shocks. We use an open, three-sector neo-Ricardian model to organize our thinking about the relative role played by domestic and foreign forces. A newly compiled database of relative price evidence is central to our analysis. We document trends in the ratio of export to import prices (the external terms of trade) from 1800 to 1913, and that of tradable to non-tradable goods and own-wages in the tradable sectors back to 1765. Whether Indian deindustrialization shocks and responses were big or small is then assessed by comparisons with other parts of the periphery.

download in pdf format
   (535 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (535 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11730

Published: Clingingsmith, David and Jeffrey G. Williamson. ”De-Industrialization in 18th and 19th Century India: Mughal Decline, Climate Shocks and British Industrial Ascent.” Explorations in Economic History 45, 3 (July 2008): 209-234.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Clingingsmith and Williamson w10586 India's De-Industrialization Under British Rule: New Ideas, New Evidence
Kapur and Kim w12613 British Colonial Institutions and Economic Development in India
Krugman w2586 Deindustrialization, Reindustrialization, and the Real Exchange Rate
González, Gomez, and Williamson w12316 Globalization, De-Industrialization and Mexican Exceptionalism 1750-1879
Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson w8460 Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us