Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Can profitable arbitrage opportunities in the raw cotton market explain Britain’s continued preference for mule spinning?

By Tim Leunig

Abstract

In an influential article Saxonhouse and Wright argued that the quality of local cotton was the single most important factor in explaining national preferences for ring or mule spinning. For Britain, they argue that mills using more flexible mule spindles could exploit arbitrage opportunities between different types of cotton in the Liverpool market, reducing the incentives to adopt rings. We use newly assembled price data to show that such cost-reducing arbitrage opportunities were small. We argue instead that the primary determinants of Lancashire’s technological choice were demand factors, but that the availability of good raw cotton did determine technological choice in emerging cotton industries

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions, DA Great Britain
Publisher: Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:515
Provided by: LSE Research Online
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/515/1... (external link)
  • http://www2.lse.ac.uk/economic... (external link)
  • http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/515/ (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    Citations

    1. (1994). A New Economic View of American History : From Colonial Times to 1940. 2nd doi
    2. (1969). American Rings and English Mules: The Role of Economic Rationality." doi
    3. (1905). Census of Manufactures,
    4. (1921). Cotton Spinning Calculations and Yarn Costs: A Prictical and
    5. (1981). Factor Costs and the Diffusion of Ring Spinning Prior to World War I." doi
    6. (1907). Government Printing Office, doi
    7. (1985). Guide to the Records of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company at the Manchester Historic Association. Manchester, NH: Manchester Historic Association,
    8. (1928). Marketing American Cotton in England.
    9. (1987). Mules: Some Comments." doi
    10. (2001). New Answers to Old Questions: Explaining the Slow Adoption of Ring Spinning in Lancashire, 1880-1913." doi
    11. (1984). New Evidence on the Stubborn English Mule and Cotton Industry, 1878-1920." Economic History Review 37.4 doi
    12. (1983). Organization and Technological Change: The Decline of the British Cotton Industry." doi
    13. (1987). Stubborn Mules and Vertical Integration: The Disappearing Constraint." doi
    14. (1990). The British Cotton Industry and International Competitive Advantage: The State of the Debates." doi
    15. (1905). The Cotton Industry and Trade. doi
    16. (1957). The Cotton Industry in Britain. doi
    17. (1933). The Marketing of Cotton from the Grower to the Spinner. London: Pitman and Sons,
    18. (1912). Thomas. The Cotton Manufacturing Industry of the United States. Harvard Economic Studies ; 8. Cambridge (Mass):

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.