Land, Labor and the Wage-Rental Ratio Factor Price Convergence in the Late Ninteenth Century
AbstractThis paper augments the new historical literature on factor price convergence. The focus is on the late nineteenth century, when economic convergence among the current OECD countries was dramatic; and the focus is on the convergence between Old World and New, by far the biggest participants in the global convergence during the period; and the focus is on land and labor, the two most important factors of production in the nineteenth century. Wage-rental ratios boomed in the Old World and collapsed in the New, moving the resource-rich and labor scarce New World closer to the resource-scarce and labor-abundant Old World. The paper uses both computable general equilibrium models and econometrics to identify the forces causing the convergence. These include: commodity price convergence and the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem of factor price equalization; migration, capital-deepening and frontier disappearance, factors stressed by Malthus, Ricardo, Wicksell and Viner; and factor-saving biases associated with induced-innovational theory, an endogenous response to relative factor scarcities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1629.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 1993
Date of revision:
prices ; labour ; economic theory;
Other versions of this item:
- Kevin O'Rourke & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamsmn, 1996. "Land, Labor and the Wage-Rental Ratio: Factor Price Convergence in the Late Nineteenth Century," NBER Historical Working Papers 0046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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