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India and the Great Divergence: Assessing the Efficiency of Grain Markets in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century India

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  • Published online: 01 June 2008

By analyzing a newly compiled data base of grain prices, this article finds that prior to the nineteenth century the grain trade in India was essentially local, while more distant markets remained fragmented. It was only in the second half of the nineteenth century that these premodern structures were transformed, and a national grain market had emerged. In the Great Divergence debate, the California School's claim that early modern “Asia” reached a similar stage of economic development as early modern Europe is therefore rejected for India.

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