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The Worldwide Economic Impact of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

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  • Kevin H. O'Rourke

Abstract

The paper provides a comparative history of the economic impact of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. By focussing on the relative price evidence, it is possible to show that the conflict had major economic effects around the world. Britain's control of the seas meant that it was much less affected than other nations, such as France and the United States. Explicit welfare calculations are provided for four countries, Britain, France, Sweden and the United States. Welfare losses were largest in the US, where they were of the order of 5-6% per annum; by contrast, they lay between 3-4% per annum in France, and between 1.7-1.8% per annum in Britain. On the other hand, the conflict helped pave the way for the more liberal international economic environment of the long 19th century.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11344.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Publication status: published as O'Rourke, Kevin. “The worldwide economic impact of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1793-1815.” Journal of Global History 1 (2006): 123-149.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11344

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  1. R. Findlay & K. H. O'Rourke, 2001. "Commodity market integration, 1500-2000," Trinity Economics Papers, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics 200113, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  2. Michael D. Bordo & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Globalization in Historical Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord03-1.
  3. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "After Columbus: Explaining the Global Trade Boom 1500-1800," NBER Working Papers 8186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. O Rourke, Kevin H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2002. "When did globalisation begin?," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 23-50, April.
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  7. Hueckel, Glenn, 1973. "War and the British economy, 1793-1815 a general equilibrium analysis," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 365-396.
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  14. Lovejoy, Paul E. & Richardson, David, 1995. "British Abolition and its Impact on Slave Prices Along the Atlantic Coast of Africa, 1783–1850," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(01), pages 98-119, March.
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Cited by:
  1. David S. Jacks, 2010. "Foreign Wars, Domestic Markets: England, 1793-1815," NBER Working Papers 16236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2006. "War and Welfare: Britain, France and the United States 1807-14," Trinity Economics Papers, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics tep2008, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  3. Hasan Vergil & M. Erdem Ozgur, 2013. "American Growth and Napoleonic Wars," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(5), pages 649-666, September.

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