The Industrial Revolution in Miniature: The Spinning Jenny in Britain, France, and India

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 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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