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Bairoch revisited: tariff structure and growth in the late 19th century

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  • Antonio Tena-Junguito

Abstract

This paper revisits Bairoch’s hypothesis that in the late 19th century tariffs were positively associated with growth, as recently confirmed by a new generation of quantitative studies (see O`Rourke (2000), Jacks (2006) and Clemens-Williamson (2002, 2004)). This paper highlights the importance of the structure of protection in the relation between trade policy and its potential growth-promoting impact. Evidence is based on a new database on industrial tariffs for the 1870`s. The results show that income, factor endowment, and policy independence are important to explain regional asymmetries between tariffs and growth. At global level, increased protection, measured by total and average tariffs on manufactures, implied more un-skilled inefficient protection and less growth, and this is especially true for the poor countries in the late 19th century. Protection was only positive for a “rich club” if we include in this group New Settler countries which grew rapidly in the late 19th century and imposed high tariffs mainly for fiscal reasons.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27869/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 27869.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:27869

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Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/
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  1. Antonio Tena Junguito, 1998. "Un nuevo perfil del proteccionismo español durante la Restauración 1875-1930," Working Papers in Economic History dh981902, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
  2. O'Rourke, Kevin H., 1997. "The European Grain Invasion, 1870–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 775-801, December.
  3. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
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  7. Edwards, Sebastian, 1993. "Openness, Trade Liberalization, and Growth in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1358-93, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Sibylle H. Lehmann & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2008. "The Structure of Protection and Growth in the Late 19th Century," NBER Working Papers 14493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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 2012-13, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

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