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

Leunig, Tim (2001) New answers to old questions : explaining the slow adoption of ring spinning in Lancashire, 1880-1913. Journal of Economic History, 61 (2). 439 -466. ISSN 0022-0507

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0022050701028078


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.

Item Type: Article
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Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:57

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