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Anglo-Asian globalisation in the modern age, 1615-1830

12nd National Competition for Economic Research Grants

Economic history

Senior Researcher : Pilar Nogués Marco

Research Centre or Institution : Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

Abstract

The globalising phenomenon of today's economies has contributed to economic growth and the reduction of poverty. But globalisation is not a new phenomenon. In fact, classic economists already highlighted the benefits generated by the integration of markets on long-term economic growth. My research focuses on analysing intercontinental globalisation in the modern age (1615-1830), specifically the integration between the European market (London) and Asian markets (India, China and Indonesia).

The research makes a dual contribution: first of all, I will focus on the "what", i.e. was there integration in the Anglo-Asian market? To answer this question, I will calculate the volumes of trade and I will draw up long series of prices at origin and destination for the main goods transported between London and Asia by the East India Company (EIC), which held the monopoly on Anglo-Asian trade in the modern age. The evolution of the price differentials will tell us whether the markets were integrated in the long term. Secondly, the research aims also to address the "whys". I propose to analyse the relative importance of trade barriers: changes in transportation costs (charters and insurance) and information (journey times between Europe and Asia), duties and prohibitions on trade and profit margins for the privileged European companies which traded between Europe and Asia. The "whys" which explain the level of integration or otherwise between the English and Asian markets will indicate what barriers limited intercontinental trade in the modern age and, hopefully, will help us to understand what policies should be adopted in order to foster international trade and therefore contribute to economic growth.

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