The woollen industry in southern Europe: a comparative analysis (1860-1913)


  • Antonio Parejo Barranco Universidad de Málaga



Between 1860 and the First World War the European woollen industry underwent a process of profound transformation, based on a modification of its productive structures, an unprecedented increase in its levels of production and on increasingly important participation of the worsted subsector. However, throughout this period the gap, wich from the beginning existed between the woollen industries of Great Britain, France and Germany and the Mediterranean countries was not bridged. The former maintained their domination of external markets (progressively widened to semi-manufactured products) and took advantage of an internal demand more in line with the characteristics of woollen articles, due to its levels of income. Meanwhile, in Italy and especially in Spain and Portugal the restraint of the interna1 market which characterized then not only limited its possibilities of growth (being subjected to a scarcely developed interna1 demand) but also, due to the limited specialization that resulted, prevented them from competing successfully in external markets.


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