Proposal preview

The historical dynamics of industrialization: A regional interpretation, ca. 1800-present

The Industrial Revolution that started in 18th century England, and subsequently spread as a slick of oil through many other countries, is arguably the most important turning point in world history. Changing health care, communication and even our world view, one of its most significant impacts was a rise of the general standard of the populations concerned.

Not surprisingly, this transition has attracted wide scholarly attention. Debates range on topics such as the Great Divergence (why Western Europe and parts of China drifted apart economically) (Allen et al 2011; Broadberry 2015), the role of human capital (Baten and van Zanden 2008), knowledge and capital accumulation (Mokyr 1979; Van Leeuwen and Foldvari 2013), and institutions (Hall and Soskice 2001). Yet, due to data limitations, these studies often focused on the national level, whereas the spread of industries has been predominantly regional. For instance, in England industries clustered in relatively small regions in the North – with the clustering of the textile industry in Lancashire probably being one of the most famous examples. The South of England remained predominantly agricultural. Likewise, today within China the Shanghai region belongs to the richest parts of the world with Gansu being one of the poorest.

To properly understand industrialization and its spread it is therefore necessary to look at the regional level. In this session we want to bring together scholars studying these processes of regional industrialization in Asia and Europe to gain a better understanding of the spread and dynamism of industrialization. Examples of questions that will be addressed in this session are as follows:
• What is the regional pattern of industrialization?
• Why were some regions more likely to industrialize than others (e.g. capital, transport, human capital, labour, raw materials)?
• How did regional industrialization change our picture of the Great Divergence, i.e. on industrial development in Asia versus Western Europe?

Papers are invited that contribute to these and related themes in the economic history of Europe and Asia for the period ca. 1800-present.

Corresponding Session Organisers:
– Dr. Alexandra M. de Pleijt, University of Oxford
– Dr. Bas van Leeuwen, International Institute for Social History

Paper presenter(s):
– Andrei Markevich (New Economic School, Russia), “Industrialisation in a backward economy: Russia in the 19th century”
– Zang, Zipeng (Utrecht University), Xuyi (Guangxi Normal University), Li Jieli (International Institute of Social History) and Bas van Leeuwen (International Institute for Social History), “Regional industrialization in China ca. 1900-present”
– M. Erdem Kabadayi (Koç University), “Long term regional dynamics of industrialization, from the late Ottoman Empire to the nation states in the Balkans and in Anatolia, 1850-1970”.
– Jean-Pascal Bassino (IAO, ENS Lyon, University of Lyon), Kyoji Fukao (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University) and Tokihiko Settsu (Musashi University), “Regional patterns of Japanese industrialisation from ca. 1800 to 1985”
– Alexandra M. de Pleijt (University of Oxford), Chris Minns (London School of Economics) and Patrick Wallis (London School of Economics), “Technical Change and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from the Industrial Revolution”
– Robin Philips (International Institute for Social History), Peter Foldvari (Amsterdam School of Economics) and Bas van Leeuwen (International Institute for Social History), “Factors driving regional industrial growth in the Low Countries, ca. 1820 – present”

Expert commentator(s):
– Professor Stephen N. Broadberry, University of Oxford
– Dr. Debin Ma, London School of Economics

Organizer(s)

  • Alexandra M. de Pleijt University of Oxford alexandra.depleijt@economics.ox.ac.uk United Kingdom
  • Bas van Leeuwen International Institute for Social History bas.van.leeuwen@iisg.nl Netherlands

Session members

  • Andrei Markevich , New Economic School
  • Erdem Kabadayi , Koç University
  • Jean-Pascal Bassino, University of Lyon
  • Robin Philips , International Institute for Social History
  • Peter Foldvari, International Institute for Social History
  • Zipeng Zhang, Utrecht University
  • Kyoji Fukao, Hitotsubashi University
  • Pedro Lains , Universidade de Lisboa

Discussant(s)

  • Stephen N. Broadberry University of Oxford stephen.broadberry@economics.ox.ac.uk
  • Debin Ma London School of Economics D.Ma1@lse.ac.uk

Papers

Panel abstract

Studies explaining industrialization have focused mainly on the national level, whereas the spread of industries has been predominantly regional. To properly understand industrialization (and its spread) it is necessary to look at the regional level. In this session we bring together scholars studying processes of regional industrialization in Asia and Europe to gain a better understanding of the spread and dynamism of industrialization. Examples of questions that will be addressed in this session are as follows: What is the regional pattern of industrialization? Why were some regions more likely to industrialize than others (e.g. capital, transport, human capital, labour, raw materials)? How did regional industrialization change our picture of the Great Divergence, i.e. on industrial development in Asia versus Western Europe?

1st half

Economic Development of the late Russian Empire in a Regional Perspective

Andrei Markevich

This paper reconstructs gross regional products for all provinces of the Russian empire in the late 19th century for the first time. My estimates confirm that an average citizen was relatively poor in this part of the world in that time. The reconstruction also highlights substantial heterogeneity in economic development within the country comparable to 1900 inequality across countries in the world. Russian provincial GRP per capita in 1897 was positively associated with urbanization, human capital, trade potential and land abundance.

This paper reconstructs gross regional products for all provinces of the Russian empire in the late 19th century for the first time. My estimates confirm that an average citizen was relatively poor in this part of the world in that time. The reconstruction also highlights substantial heterogeneity in economic development within the country comparable to 1900 inequality across countries in the world. Russian provincial GRP per capita in 1897 was positively associated with urbanization, human capital, trade potential and land abundance.

Drivers of Industrialisation: Intersectoral evidence from the Low Countries in the nineteenth century

Robin Philips, Péter Földvàri and Bas Van Leeuwen

In this paper, we trace the causes of regional industrial development in the nineteenth century Low Countries by disentangling the complex relationship between industrialisation, technological progress and human capital formation. Based on census data, we use sectoral differences in the application of technology and human capital to explain the rise in employment in the manufacturing sector during the nineteenth century. Our instrumental variable regression analysis reveals that employment in the manufacturing sectors was influenced more by so-called upper-tail knowledge and not by average educational levels, providing empirical proof of a deskilling industrialisation process. However, we find notable differences between manufacturing sectors. The textiles sector shows few agglomeration effects and limited use of steam-powered engines, with average education levels not adequately explaining regional industrialisation. In contrast, the location of the innovative machinery manufacturing sector was more influenced by technology and human capital, particularly upper-tail knowledge captured by secondary school attendance rates.

In this paper, we trace the causes of regional industrial development in the nineteenth century Low Countries by disentangling the complex relationship between industrialisation, technological progress and human capital formation. Based on census data, we use sectoral differences in the application of technology and human capital to explain the rise in employment in the manufacturing sector during the nineteenth century. Our instrumental variable regression analysis reveals that employment in the manufacturing sectors was influenced more by so-called upper-tail knowledge and not by average educational levels, providing empirical proof of a deskilling industrialisation process. However, we find notable differences between manufacturing sectors. The textiles sector shows few agglomeration effects and limited use of steam-powered engines, with average education levels not adequately explaining regional industrialisation. In contrast, the location of the innovative machinery manufacturing sector was more influenced by technology and human capital, particularly upper-tail knowledge captured by secondary school attendance rates.

Long term regional dynamics of industrialization, from the late Ottoman Empire to the nation states in the Balkans and in Anatolia, 1850-1970

M. Erdem Kabadayi

This paper is based upon a spatiotemporal analysis of regional economic development focusing on four regions in today’s Bulgaria (Plovdiv and Ruse) and Turkey (Ankara and Bursa). We rely on two sets of sources: Ottoman tax and population registers from the mid-nineteenth century, and national population censuses of Bulgaria and Turkey for the period 1885/1927 - 1970. First, we would like to analyse the micro level occupational data, extracted from the 1845 Ottoman tax survey and coded into PSTI scheme established by the Campop (Cambridge Group for History of Population and Social Structure), for chosen regions on two levels: urban centres and smaller towns. Secondly we will analyse hitherto unutilized micro level, household based, Ottoman proto population censuses from the mid-nineteenth century for the same locations to assess the demographic coverage of 1845 tax survey. After aggregating the acquired data on population density to the level of regions, we will...

This paper is based upon a spatiotemporal analysis of regional economic development focusing on four regions in today’s Bulgaria (Plovdiv and Ruse) and Turkey (Ankara and Bursa). We rely on two sets of sources: Ottoman tax and population registers from the mid-nineteenth century, and national population censuses of Bulgaria and Turkey for the period 1885/1927 - 1970. First, we would like to analyse the micro level occupational data, extracted from the 1845 Ottoman tax survey and coded into PSTI scheme established by the Campop (Cambridge Group for History of Population and Social Structure), for chosen regions on two levels: urban centres and smaller towns. Secondly we will analyse hitherto unutilized micro level, household based, Ottoman proto population censuses from the mid-nineteenth century for the same locations to assess the demographic coverage of 1845 tax survey. After aggregating the acquired data on population density to the level of regions, we will map the population geography of four regions using advanced GIS applications including digital elevation models for the mid-nineteenth century. Secondly for the same regions we will extract, code, and map compatible data on occupational structure and population for around five cross-sections using national censuses up to the 1970s. Lastly, we will compare and contrast the trajectories of economic development and urbanisation of these five regions both with each other and with the national ones. By adding geo-spatial analysis into our inquiry we would like to include role of geographic factors in regional development in Southeast Europe and West Anatolia for the period 1850 to 1970.

2nd half

National and regional patterns of European industrialization, 1870-1970

Pedro Lains

A map of European industrialization will show “red dots, surrounded by areas of lighter red diminishing to white, and with the spread of industrialization these dots would scatter across the map with little reference to political boundaries” (Pollard EHR 1973). This paper stems from this description of European industrialization, presented some time ago and still calling for a better characterization. The paper starts by describing the pattern of European industrialization given by the evolution of the structure of the labour force, using data at the national and regional levels. Secondly, we discuss how the pattern of industrialization relates to differences in natural endowments and the structure of comparative advantages. Thirdly, the paper discusses convergence of levels of per capita industrialization and per capita income. We confirm that industrialization spread across Europe following a regional pattern related to endowments and the structure of comparative advantages, and that levels of industrialization converged...

A map of European industrialization will show “red dots, surrounded by areas of lighter red diminishing to white, and with the spread of industrialization these dots would scatter across the map with little reference to political boundaries” (Pollard EHR 1973). This paper stems from this description of European industrialization, presented some time ago and still calling for a better characterization. The paper starts by describing the pattern of European industrialization given by the evolution of the structure of the labour force, using data at the national and regional levels. Secondly, we discuss how the pattern of industrialization relates to differences in natural endowments and the structure of comparative advantages. Thirdly, the paper discusses convergence of levels of per capita industrialization and per capita income. We confirm that industrialization spread across Europe following a regional pattern related to endowments and the structure of comparative advantages, and that levels of industrialization converged at a faster pace than levels of income per capita. We thus provide a better understanding of industrialization as the main source of growth, in both the European core and the periphery, during the century from 1870 to 1970.

The economic geography of Japanese industrialization (1800-2010)

Jean-Pascal Bassino, Kyoji Fukao and Tokihiko Settsu

The paper accounts for the regional dimension of structural change in Japan between ca 1800 and 2010 using quantitative and qualitative information. The manufacturing sector experienced a slow expansion between ca 1800 and 1858, but the opening to international trade resulted in regional asymmetric shocks between 1858 and 1868. In the period 1868-1913, a gradual shift to modern economic growth occurred across most Japanese prefecture during a phase lasting until around 1890, followed by a phase a spatial concentration in urban areas from 1890 to 1912. The period 1914-1965 was a phase of diversification and amplification of the geographical concentration in heavy industry. In the period of high speed and then sustain growth 1965-1985, driven by the expansion of the manufacturing sector, the spatial dominance of the major urban areas gradually declined. During the final phase, 1985-2010, a decline of manufacturing occurred, but it was rather homogenous in spatial terms.

The paper accounts for the regional dimension of structural change in Japan between ca 1800 and 2010 using quantitative and qualitative information. The manufacturing sector experienced a slow expansion between ca 1800 and 1858, but the opening to international trade resulted in regional asymmetric shocks between 1858 and 1868. In the period 1868-1913, a gradual shift to modern economic growth occurred across most Japanese prefecture during a phase lasting until around 1890, followed by a phase a spatial concentration in urban areas from 1890 to 1912. The period 1914-1965 was a phase of diversification and amplification of the geographical concentration in heavy industry. In the period of high speed and then sustain growth 1965-1985, driven by the expansion of the manufacturing sector, the spatial dominance of the major urban areas gradually declined. During the final phase, 1985-2010, a decline of manufacturing occurred, but it was rather homogenous in spatial terms.

A brief note on regional industrialization in the basic metals sector in China, 1850-present

Zipeng Zhang, Bas van Leeuwen and Jieli Li

In this brief note we report our progress on deriving estimates of the basic metal sector, i.e. the smelting of ferrous (iron &steel) and nonferrous (other metals than iron &steel). Our choice for the basic metal industry is based on its importance for economic development. Indeed, the better availability, higher quality, and lower price, aided in the development of initially boilers, railways, steam engines and, subsequently, a wide variety of machine tools aiding economic development. In this brief note we deal with definition and sources, data, some preliminary results of metal smelting on a prefectural level.

In this brief note we report our progress on deriving estimates of the basic metal sector, i.e. the smelting of ferrous (iron &steel) and nonferrous (other metals than iron &steel). Our choice for the basic metal industry is based on its importance for economic development. Indeed, the better availability, higher quality, and lower price, aided in the development of initially boilers, railways, steam engines and, subsequently, a wide variety of machine tools aiding economic development. In this brief note we deal with definition and sources, data, some preliminary results of metal smelting on a prefectural level.

Human Capital Formation during the First Industrial Revolution: Evidence from the Use of Steam Engines

Alexandra M. de Pleijt, Alessandro Nuvolari and Jacob Weisdorf

We examine the effect of technical change on human capital formation during England’s Industrial Revolution. Using the number of steam engines installed by 1800 as a synthetic indicator of technological change, and occupational statistics to measure working skills (using HISCLASS), we establish a positive correlation between the use of steam engines and the share of skilled workers at the county level. We use exogenous variation in carboniferous rock strata (containing coal to fuel the engines) to show that the effect was causal. While technological change stimulated the formation of working skills, it had an overall negative effect on the formation of primary education, captured by literacy and school enrolment rates. It also led to higher gender inequality in literacy. Full-text available here: https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12987

We examine the effect of technical change on human capital formation during England’s Industrial Revolution. Using the number of steam engines installed by 1800 as a synthetic indicator of technological change, and occupational statistics to measure working skills (using HISCLASS), we establish a positive correlation between the use of steam engines and the share of skilled workers at the county level. We use exogenous variation in carboniferous rock strata (containing coal to fuel the engines) to show that the effect was causal. While technological change stimulated the formation of working skills, it had an overall negative effect on the formation of primary education, captured by literacy and school enrolment rates. It also led to higher gender inequality in literacy. Full-text available here: https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12987