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Transport Costs and the Geography of Arbitrage in Eighteenth-Century China

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  • Carol H. Shiue

Abstract

Trade has been considered a condition for growth and development, a view that might have merits in explaining the rise of the Western world. I use a new data set from archival sources of eighteenth-century China to revisit this question. This analysis suggests previous studies of market integration, which attribute much growth to a reduction in transport costs, have overestimated these effects. I find the overall level of market integration in China was higher than previously thought, and, intertemporal effects are important substitutes for trade. Both factors reduce the importance of trade as a unique explanation for subsequent growth.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282802762024566
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 92 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1406-1419

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:5:p:1406-1419

Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282802762024566
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References

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  1. Gallup, John L. & Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Mellinger, Andrew, . "Geography and Economic Development," Instructional Stata datasets for econometrics geodata, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Qiang Chen, 2014. "Natural Disasters, Ethnic Diversity, and the Size of Nations: Two Thousand Years of Unification and Division in Historical China," SDU Working Papers 2014-01, School of Economics, Shandong University.
  2. Wolfgang Keller & Carol H. Shiue, 2004. "Market Integration and Economic Development: A Long-run Comparison," NBER Working Papers 10300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Qiang Chen, 2013. "Climate Shocks, State Capacity, and Peasant Uprisings in North China during 25-1911 CE," SDU Working Papers 2013-01, School of Economics, Shandong University.
  4. Wolfgang Keller & Carol H. Shiue, 2003. "The Origins of Spatial Interaction," NBER Working Papers 10069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian & Pierre Yared, 2010. "The Institutional Causes of China's Great Famine, 1959-61," NBER Working Papers 16361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Carol H. Shiue & Wolfgang Keller, 2004. "Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution," NBER Working Papers 10778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Martin Uebele & Tim Gr√ľnebaum & Michael Kopsidis, 2013. "King's law and food storage in Saxony, c. 1790-1830," CQE Working Papers 2613, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.
  8. Carol H. Shiue, 2013. "Human Capital and Fertility in Chinese Clans Before Modern Growth," NBER Working Papers 19661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Qiang Chen, 2012. "Climate Shocks, Dynastic Cycles, and Nomadic Conquests: Evidence from Historical China," SDU Working Papers 2012-01, School of Economics, Shandong University.
  10. Dave Donaldson, 2011. "Railroads of the Raj: estimating the impact of transportation infrastructure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 38368, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Li, Zhigang & Chen, Yu, 2013. "Estimating the social return to transport infrastructure: A price-difference approach applied to a quasi-experiment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 669-683.
  12. Robin Burgess & Dave Donaldson, 2012. "Can openness to trade reduce income volatility? Evidence from colonial India's famine era," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54255, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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