The Industrial Revolution in Miniature

The Spinning Jenny in Britain, France, and India

Robert (Bob) Allen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The spinning jenny helps explain why the Industrial Revolution occurred in Britain rather than in France or India. Wages were exceptionally high relative to capital prices in Britain, so the jenny was profitable to use in Britain but not elsewhere. Since it was only profitable to use the jenny in Britain, that was the only country where it as worth incurring the costs of developing it. Irrespective of the quality of their institutions or the progressiveness of their cultures, neither the French nor the Indians would have found it profitable to mechanize cotton production in the eighteenth century.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)901-927
    Number of pages27
    JournalJournal of Economic History
    Volume69
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

    Fingerprint

    India
    France
    Industrial revolution
    Industrial Revolution
    Wages
    Costs
    18th century
    Quality of institutions
    Cotton

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • History
    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    The Industrial Revolution in Miniature : The Spinning Jenny in Britain, France, and India. / Allen, Robert (Bob).

    In: Journal of Economic History, Vol. 69, No. 4, 01.12.2009, p. 901-927.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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