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The antebellum U.S. iron industry: Domestic production and foreign competition

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  • Davis, Joseph H.
  • Irwin, Douglas A.

Abstract

This paper presents new annual estimates of U.S. production of pig iron and imports of pig iron products dating back to 1827. These estimates are used to assess the vulnerability of the antebellum iron industry to foreign competition and the role of the tariff in fostering the industry's early development. Domestic pig iron production is found to be highly sensitive to changes in import prices. Although import price fluctuations had a much greater impact on U.S. production than changes in import duties, our estimates suggest that the tariff permitted domestic output to be about 30-40 percent larger than it would have been without protection.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 45 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 254-269

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:45:y:2008:i:3:p:254-269

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. Breusch, Trevor S & Wickens, Michael R, 1987. "Dynamic Specification, the Long Run and the Estimation of Transformed Regression Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Gene M. Grossman, 1984. "Imports as a Cause of Injury: The Case of the U.S. Steel Industry," NBER Working Papers 1494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Joseph Wallis, 2001. "What Caused the Crisis of 1839?," NBER Historical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gerrard, W J & Godfrey, L G, 1998. "Diagnostic Checks for Single-Equation Error-Correction and Autoregressive Distributed Lag Models," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, University of Manchester, vol. 66(2), pages 222-37, March.
  5. Calomiris, Charles W. & Hanes, Christopher, 1994. "Consistent Output Series for the Antebellum and Postbellum Periods: Issues and Preliminary Results," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(02), pages 409-422, June.
  6. Douglas A. Irwin & Peter Temin, 2000. "The Antebellum Tariff on Cotton Textiles Revisited," NBER Working Papers 7825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fogel, Robert W & Engerman, Stanley L, 1969. "A Model for the Explanation of Industrial Expansion during the Nineteenth Century: With an Application to the American Iron Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(3), pages 306-28, May/June.
  8. Harley, C. Knick, 1992. "International Competitiveness of the Antebellum American Cotton Textile Industry," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(03), pages 559-584, September.
  9. Harley, C. Knick, 2001. "The Antebellum Tariff: Different Products Or Competing Sources? A Comment On Irwin And Temin," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(03), pages 799-805, September.
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