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Title: Essays on an Indian Ocean economy
Author: Tang, Kevin Allan
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 3071
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis analyses the role of the Indian Ocean in contributing to a distinctly integrated maritime region, and assesses some of the implications this has for regional trade and industrialisation in the era of high imperialism between 1870 to 1914. The thesis also presents a collection of original trade data and commodity price statistics from British, French, and Dutch colonial archives, which form the basis of analysis. First, this thesis looks at the relative factors driving market integration in the Indian Ocean. Results show that market integration was primarily driven by port city integration with other port cities across the Indian Ocean, rather than with or between cities of the colonial hinterland. It also finds that steamships connecting port cities overseas contributed more to regional integration compared to railroads connecting cities of the colonial interior over land, and that the size or political function of a port city was not as much of a factor driving regional integration as simply whether or not a city was accessible to the Indian Ocean. Second, this thesis looks at trade costs within the Indian Ocean compared to trade from the Indian Ocean to other maritime regions either within the global periphery, or from the Indian Ocean to the global core of Europe. Findings show that trade costs were low for short--distance routes within the Indian Ocean, as well as long--distance routes from the Indian Ocean to Europe. However trade costs were the highest for trade from the Indian Ocean to other regions of the global periphery such as the Eastern Mediterranean, thus establishing that the Indian Ocean was a distinctly integrated maritime region within the global periphery. However in relation to the global core of Europe, the Indian Ocean was also highly integrated as part of a larger process of globalisation taking place during the period. Third, considering previous analysis on regional market integration and trade costs within and between the Indian Ocean and other regions, this thesis looks at some of the implications that an integrated Indian Ocean market had on trade growth and the export of large-scale industrial manufactures from the primary entrepot cities of Bombay and Calcutta. Comparative analysis of the intensive and extensive margins of trade for both cities demonstrates that trade ties across the Indian Ocean served as a major destination for more highly differentiated, higher value manufactured goods from both cities. Additionally, even though the vast majority of exports from both cities went to Europe, this was primarily in staple commodities rather than in manufactured goods. Thus an integrated Indian Ocean market provided an important destination for emerging manufacturing industries at the region's primary entrepot cities.
Supervisor: Broadberry, Stephen Sponsor: Amersi Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Imperial history ; Development economics ; Southeast Asian history ; Economic history ; Asian studies ; Indian Ocean studies ; Economic geography ; Development studies ; International development ; History ; Global history ; Middle Eastern history ; Indian history