EH404      Half Unit
India and the World Economy

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Tirthankar Roy SAR 616


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, IMEX Exchange, MA Global Studies: A European Perspective, MRes in Quantitative Economic History, MSc in Economic History, MSc in Economic History (Research), MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in Global History, MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia), MSc in Political Economy of Late Development and MiM Exchange. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

From the eighteenth century, the South Asia region played an important part in international transactions in goods, people, and money. The world economy, in turn, shaped potentials for economic growth in the region. The aim of the course is to impart an understanding of the global factors that shaped economic change in the South Asia region in the 18th through the early-20th century. It will also deal with the principal ways in which South Asia contributed to economic change in the rest of the world. The political context of globalization, especially imperialism and colonial policies, will be considered. The course will be divided into a set of topics, which together cover a large ground, but a selection from which will be discussed in the class. Lectures and seminars will centre on the readings assigned to each topic.

Topics to be covered: Introductory: India and the world economy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - how each shaped the other; textiles in eighteenth century India: scale - organization - impact on global consumption and innovation - trade and territorial politics; nineteenth century market integration: de-industrialization and the artisans; nineteenth century market integration: Agricultural exports, land rights, and the peasantry - Trade and famines; Government finance in colonial setting: The drain controversy - public debt; overseas migration in the nineteenth century: Who went where, how many, and why - private gains and losses - social effects: slavery and indenture, women, nature of work and skill-formation - labour and non-labour migrants compared; foreign capital and industrialization; balance of payments and the monetary system; overview: Globalization and economic growth.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

2-hour meetings weekly, with a flexible combination of lectures and seminars.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be required to write one paper during the course and to make class presentations

Indicative reading

G. Balachandran, ed.,India and the World Economy 1850-1950 (2003.); A. Banerji, India's Balance of Payments, (Bombay, 1962); D. Ludden, ed., Agricultural Production in Indian History, (2nd Edition, 2005;) P.Marshall, ed., The Eighteenth Century in Indian History ( 2004); A. Banerji, 'Transfers, Secular Deflation and the Enigma of the Indian Economy 1860-1900', World Development, 18(10), 1379-1400; M. Carter, Servants, Sirdars, and Settlers: Indians in Mauritius, 1834-1874 (1995); D. Northrup, Indentured Labour in the Age of Imperialism 1834-1922,(1995); C. Markovits, 'Indian Merchant Networks outside India in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: A Preliminary Survey', Modern Asian Studies, 33(4), 1999, 883-911; M. Ravallion, 'Trade and Stabilization: Another Look at British India's Controversial Grain Exports', Explorations in Economic History, 24, 1987, 354-70.; M.J. Twomey, 'Employment in Nineteenth Century Indian Textiles', Explorations in Economic History, 20, 1983, 37-57; A.K. Bagchi, 'De-industrialization in India in the Nineteenth Century: Some Theoretical Implications', Journal of Development Studies, 17, 1976, 135-64.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2015/16: 17

Average class size 2015/16: 17

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information