An Economic History of the Silk Industry, 1830-1930 by Giovanni Federico

By Giovanni Federico

This publication examines the expansion of the realm silk undefined. Professor Federico files Western industrialization, the technical growth and the altering equipment of construction that enabled the silk to deal with elevated call for. Silk grew to become the 1st jap good fortune tale at the international industry, with Italy protecting a enormous percentage until eventually exertions was once diverted due to its industrialization. eastern industrialization additionally led its silk to an identical destiny after the second one global battle.

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Extra info for An Economic History of the Silk Industry, 1830-1930 (Cambridge Studies in Modern Economic History)

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4 lire/kg in December 1875. The variation of mark-up entailed an equivalent change of unit profits, because the processing costs hardly changed in the short term. In relative terms, however, profits fluctuated much more. 1. By definition, the proximate cause of these fluctuations, and hence of risk, was the fluctuations in the price of silk in the period between the harvest of cocoons to the sale of silkwares to the final consumer. 51 All subsequent variations of the silk prices changed the value of the stocks (of dried cocoons or of silk) and thus caused whomsoever held them to gain or to lose.

A similar analysis is not possible for the Far East, but there is nevertheless plenty of evidence about the low barriers to entry. The most compelling piece is the fast growth of steam-reeling from the 1870s onwards, which will be discussed in chapter 7. It can be supplemented with some data on the average life of reeling firms - twelve years in the Nagano prefecture in 1908, fourteen years in southern China and five years in Shangai in the 1920s. 45 As the number of firms was rising, the implicit rate of innovation should have been as high as in Italy.

Data for Italy from Annuario 1904, for Japan, from Ishii 1979, 2 4 6 . Inchiesta industriale D S 6&1, witness Bozzotti. Annuario 1904. A similar 'local' pattern also prevailed in the Yamanashi prefecture in Japan (Smethurst 1986, 165). T h e cost for board and lodging of outhoused manpower was about 2 5 - 3 0 per cent of the wage ( D e Bernardi 1886, 105; Duran 1913, 62; Bartezzaghi 1910, 8 6 7 ) . T h e system, however, reduced the waste of time in commuting, making it possible to maximize the actual worktime for any given total commitment.

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