Macrohistory Seminar – Bishnupriya Gupta (University of Warwick)

Event details

  • | Thursday, October 18
  • 12:15 PM
  • Kaiserplatz 7-9, 4th floor, Room 4.006

Community Origins of Industrial Entrepreneurship: Evidence from India

We argue that community networks played an important role in the emergence of Indian entrepreneurship in the cotton textile industry during the 19th century, overcoming the lack of market institutions and government support. From business registers we construct a new panel data set of entrepreneurs in Western India where the industry was located. We do not find evidence that price shocks or pre-industrial accumulation of experience or wealth in trading raw cotton can explain entry patterns. The majority of entrepreneurs within each firm belonged to the same social community.  The pattern of entry into the cotton textile industry can be explained by the social connections of the entrepreneurs. The dynamics of entry over the period 1866-1910 is consistent with a model of network-based dynamics.