The aim of this paper is to identify a possible regularity in the pattern of sea-borne
foreign trade in 17th and 18th century India. More precisely, the goal is to determine
whether there has been a correlation between the monetary volume of foreign trade
and the extent of trading outreach, i.e. the distance of trade routes travelled. Thus,
information will be collected in regard to the characteristics of Indian trade activity; for
instance, large proportions of trading volume on long-haul routes would classify India
as a far-trading hub, whereas the majority of trading volume being transported to
close destinations would reveal a more locally-oriented mercantile character of Indian
In order to achieve this goal, three steps will be undertaken in the course of this
paper. Firstly, the trading parties and corresponding trade routes will be identified.
Secondly, due to the wide variety of measures and currencies being in use during the
17th and 18th century, the available trade records will be collected and aligned in
order to ensure comparability of data and facilitate further processing. Thirdly, making
use of the homogenous data derived from the previous step, a number of analyses
will be performed whose aim is to determine whether there has been a statistical
correlation between trading volume and extent of outreach. These analyses will be
based on ordinary least square (OLS) regression procedures being exerted over
three time periods of 25 years each.
Sea-borne foreign trade in 17th and 18th century India
Early modern Indian development
Publication date: 01/08/2007
trade routes and patterns, monetary volume, currencies, distances, goods
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