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Temporary protection, technology adoption and economic development: data and evidence from the age of revolution in France

Juhász, Réka (2015) Temporary protection, technology adoption and economic development: data and evidence from the age of revolution in France. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis examines industrial development in early 19th century France, a period of momentous sea-change often referred to as the ‘Age of Revolution’. A novel dataset makes it possible to examine key sectors of the economy as they developed from rural cottage industries into modern, factory-based production units. The Napoleonic Blockade against British trade (1803-1815) provides within country, exogenous variation in trade protection from the industrial leader, Britain. In the first chapter, “The Spatial Dynamics of Structural Transformation in France”, I present the new dataset and document some spatial patterns which seem to comove with the switch to modern technology. I find that the time period was disruptive to the existing spatial structure of the economy, at least for the modernising sectors which I observe. The second chapter, “Temporary Protection and Technology Adoption: Evidence from the Napoleonic Blockade”, uses an exogenous shock to trade protection, driven by the Napoleonic Blockade against British trade, to assess whether temporary protection from trade with industrial leaders can foster development of infant industries in follower countries. I show that in the short-run, regions (départements) in the French Empire which became better protected from trade with the British increased capacity in mechanised cotton spinning to a larger extent than regions which remained more exposed to trade. Moreover, temporary protection affected the long-term location of mechanised cotton spinning in France. The third chapter, “Inter-Industry Linkages: The Indirect Effects of the Napoleonic Blockade” explores the wider implications of the exogenous shock to trade protection. Using variation in the location of post-blockade mechanised cotton spinning caused by the trade shock, I find evidence of coagglomeration for technologically proximate spinning sectors. The effects do not seem to be driven by input-output linkages, suggesting a role for technology spillovers or labour market pooling.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Réka Juhász
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Economics
Supervisor: Tenreyro, Silvana

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