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Effects of Bilateralism and the MFN Clause on International Trade: Evidence for the Cobden-Chevalier Network, 1860-1875

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  • Lampe, Markus

Abstract

This study contributes to a revised picture of nineteenth-century bilateralism. Employing a new disaggregated dataset, it argues that bilateral treaties did not implement general free trade, but instead reduced tariffs unevenly through commodity-specific preferences, especially favoring manufactured goods. Gravity model estimates show that specific liberalizations translated into systematic increases in exports of corresponding items, but not overall trade. Exporters of countries whose governments used bilateralism strategically to bring down partner tariffs benefitted most. Hence, the network in form and outcome is more properly identified with reciprocal liberalization practiced by the French than with British free trade ideology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 69 (2009)
Issue (Month): 04 (December)
Pages: 1012-1040

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:69:y:2009:i:04:p:1012-1040_00

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stéphane Bécuwe & Bertrand Blancheton & Léo Charles, 2013. "First globalization: why did France missed the boat?," Working Papers hal-00879996, HAL.
  2. Stéphane BECUWE (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Bertrand BLANCHETON (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2012. "The dispersion of customs tariffs in France between 1850 and 1913: discrimination in trade policy," Cahiers du GREThA, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée 2012-13, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  3. Douglas A. Irwin & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2013. "Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 11-37 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Tena-Junguito, Antonio & Lampe, Markus & Fernandes, Felipe Tâmega, 2012. "How Much Trade Liberalization Was There in the World Before and After Cobden-Chevalier?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(03), pages 708-740, September.
  5. Switgard Feuerstein, 2013. "From the Zollverein to the Economics of Regionalism," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 233(3), pages 367-388, May.
  6. Stéphane BECUWE (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Bertrand BLANCHETON (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Léo CHARLES (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2012. "The decline of French trade power during the first globalization (1850-1913)," Cahiers du GREThA, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée 2012-22, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  7. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2009. "Something Rational in the State of Denmark? The Case of an Outsider in the Cobden-Chevalier Network 1860-1875," Discussion Papers 09-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. Meissner, Christopher M., 2014. "Growth from Globalization? A View from the Very Long Run," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 1033-1069 Elsevier.

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