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Wednesday 18 March 2020 14.00 - 16.00
B-3 ECO23 Relocation or Resilience? Household Textile Production and Consumption in a Global Comparative Perspective
P.N. van Eyckhof 2, 002
Network: Economic History Chairs: -
Organizer: Elise Van Nederveen Meerkerk Discussant: William Gervase Clarence-Smith
Sarah Carmichael, Corinne Boter : Cotton Wages: a First Look at an International Database
In this short paper we will present, for the first time, an international database on wages in the textile industry from circa 1850 to the present day. We have focused on wages for those working in the production of cotton textiles and attempted to bring together men’s, women’s and children’s ... (Show more)
In this short paper we will present, for the first time, an international database on wages in the textile industry from circa 1850 to the present day. We have focused on wages for those working in the production of cotton textiles and attempted to bring together men’s, women’s and children’s wages in order to present a complete picture of the earnings of those working in this important industry. We also give a first indication of the gender wage gap for the early period of industrialization, both in terms of piece rate wages and total wages (where indications of hours worked etc. are available we include them). The geographical scope is India, the UK, the Netherlands, China and Japan with incidental further coverage if the data was readily available. In addition we reflect on how these wages relate to discussions about living standards, real wages, and the concept of the living wage. (Show less)

Aditi Dixit : Textile Production and Household Labour in India and Japan c. 1890 to 1940
This paper investigates the role of small-scale and household based textile production in the historical trajectory of industrialization in India and Japan. Recent works in India and Japan highlight the importance of small-scale or artisanal based production and household labour in their respective paths towards industrialisation. This paper delves deeper ... (Show more)
This paper investigates the role of small-scale and household based textile production in the historical trajectory of industrialization in India and Japan. Recent works in India and Japan highlight the importance of small-scale or artisanal based production and household labour in their respective paths towards industrialisation. This paper delves deeper into this question and analyses comparative differences or similarities within labor-intensive forms of production in these two countries. It does so to primarily understand differences and similarities in terms of labour productivity in small-scale units in India and Japan. While differences in labour productivity has occupied a central space in research on industrial development and growth, it has been restricted to large-scale industries or mills. A comparative analysis of small-scale production units in India and Japan thus provides us with a unique opportunity to study differences within different varieties of small-scale and labour-intensive production units. Analysis of labour productivity in small-scale industries also provides insights into the interlinkages between large and small-scale industries and differential labour forms that characterized them. (Show less)

Katharine Frederick : Household Textile Production in Java and East Africa Compared
Many dependency theorists as well as economic historians have contended that nineteenth-century imperial policies and economic globalization deindustrialized the global ‘periphery’, thus enhancing and accelerating worldwide economic inequality, or, as it has become known in recent years, ‘the Great Divergence’. European metropoles extracted raw materials and tropical commodities from their ... (Show more)
Many dependency theorists as well as economic historians have contended that nineteenth-century imperial policies and economic globalization deindustrialized the global ‘periphery’, thus enhancing and accelerating worldwide economic inequality, or, as it has become known in recent years, ‘the Great Divergence’. European metropoles extracted raw materials and tropical commodities from their overseas territories, and in turn pressured indigenous consumers to buy their industrial products, textiles in particular. According to Jeff Williamson, ‘globalization must have done bigger damage to industry in [colonial] Indonesia than almost anywhere else in the non-European periphery’. Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, for instance, colonial Java experienced an impressive terms-of-trade-boom in the nineteenth century. For Africa, too, Walter Rodney and others have contended that cheap European imports ruined local industries.

This paper aspires to tell a more nuanced story. By comparing two regions in the periphery, Java and sub-Saharan Africa, we will show how the statistics on which such terms-of-trade calculations are generally based, are too aggregate and discard the types of (semi!)industrial goods that were imported. This neglects the fact that important further production processes may have occurred in the periphery, which have often been obscured in economic historical accounts. Moreover, we argue that we should not only take into account international trade movements, but also investigate how regional markets as well as local consumption preferences for particular types of cloth of specific quality impacted the resilience of local textile production. (Show less)

Faheem Rokadiya : Industrialization and the Continuation of Household Textile Production in the 18-19th Century UK and 20th Century China: a Diachronic Comparison
Over the years historians have debated why Britain industrialised first. The most frequent explanation is that labour was expensive compared to capital; indeed the high level of wages has been put forth as one the "most distinctive features" in the British
economy. It is for this reason that capital intensive industrialisation ... (Show more)
Over the years historians have debated why Britain industrialised first. The most frequent explanation is that labour was expensive compared to capital; indeed the high level of wages has been put forth as one the "most distinctive features" in the British
economy. It is for this reason that capital intensive industrialisation took place. Today industrialisation is seen as a crucial stepping stone for the modernisation of developing countries. One of the most rapid industrial transformations can be seen in China, which
transformed in the mid 20th century from a poor country to become one of the most significant world players on the global market today. Labour was abundant and cheap compared to other factor inputs, and as a result labour intensive industrialisation took
place. This paper will conduct a diachronic analysis on the cotton textile industry in the
18-19th century UK and 20th century China. One major point of difference is the continuation of handicraft production in some parts of China as opposed to the UK. In looking at this difference, I show how institutions, factor endowments and consumption account
for the change or rigidity of household textile production. One such example of institutions is tradition. Here Chinese traditions and the flexibility of Chinese weavers led to them adapting machine spun yarn for handloom weaving. Moreover, factor endowments differed which ultimately led to the UK undergoing capital intensive industrialization and China undergoing labour intensive industrialization. (Austin and Sugihara, 2015) Finally a framework adapted from Jan de Vries (2008) for China can help account for differing "Z commodities" in both areas. (Show less)



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