- Ottoman De-Industrialization 1800-1913: Assessing the Shock, Its Impact and the Response
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- by Pamuk, Şevket; Williamson, Jeffery G.
- India and Britain were much bigger players in the 18th century world market for textiles than was Egypt,
the Levant and the core of the Ottoman Empire, but these eastern Mediterranean regions did export
carpets, silks and other textiles to Europe and the East. By the middle of the 19th century, they had lost
most of their export market and much of their domestic market to globalization forces and rapid
productivity growth in European manufacturing. Other local industries also suffered decline, and these
regions underwent de-industrialization as a consequence. How different was Ottoman experience from the
rest of the poor periphery? Was de-industrialization more or less pronounced? Was the terms of trade
shock bigger or smaller? How much of Ottoman de-industrialization was due to falling world trade
barriers—ocean transport revolutions and European liberal trade policy, how much due to factory-based
productivity advance in Europe, how much to declining Ottoman competitiveness in manufacturing, how
much to Ottoman railroads penetrating the interior, and how much to Ottoman policy? The paper uses a
price-dual approach to seek the answers. It documents trends in export and import prices, relative to each
other and to non-tradables, as well as to the unskilled wage. The impact of globalization, European
productivity advance, Ottoman wage costs and policy are assessed by using a simple neo-Ricardian three
sector model, and by comparison with what was taking place in the rest of the poor periphery.
- Publication Type: WCFIA Working Paper
- Published Date: February 2009
- Field of Interest: International Economics
- Working Paper 2009-0012, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, February 2009.