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Global Trade and the Maritime Transport Revolution

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  • David S. Jacks
  • Krishna Pendakur

Abstract

What is the role of transport improvements in globalization? We argue that the nineteenth century is the ideal testing ground for this question: freight rates fell on average by 50% while global trade increased 400% from 1870 to 1913. We estimate the first indices of bilateral freight rates for the period and directly incorporate these into a standard gravity model. We also take the endogeneity of bilateral trade and freight rates seriously and propose an instrumental variables approach. The results are striking as we find no evidence that the maritime transport revolution was the primary driver of the late nineteenth century global trade boom. Rather, the most powerful forces driving the boom were those of income growth and convergence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14139.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Publication status: published as David S Jacks & Krishna Pendakur, 2010. "Global Trade and the Maritime Transport Revolution," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 745-755, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14139

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Cited by:
  1. Klasing, Mariko & Milionis, Petros, 2012. "Reassessing the Evolution of World Trade, 1870-1949," MPRA Paper 39555, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. David S. Jacks & Christopher M. Meissner & Dennis Novy, 2009. "Trade Booms, Trade Busts, and Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 15267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Harvey & Neil Kellard & Jakob Madsen & Mark Wohar, 2012. "Trends and Cycles in Real Commodity Prices: 1650-2010," CEH Discussion Papers 010, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Pinilla, Vicente & Serranoz, Raul, 2008. "The agricultural and food trade in the first globalisation: Spanish table wine exports 1871 to 1935 – a case study," Working Papers 42657, American Association of Wine Economists.
  5. Kym Anderson, 2012. "Costing Global Trade Barriers, 1900 to 2050," Departmental Working Papers 2012-08, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  6. repec:cge:warwcg:33 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Dan Liu & Christopher M. Meissner, 2013. "Market Potential and the Rise of US Productivity Leadership," NBER Working Papers 18819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lin, Faqin & Sim, Nicholas C.S., 2013. "Trade, income and the Baltic Dry Index," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-18.
  9. Klovland, Jan Tore, 2009. "New evidence on the fluctuations in ocean freight rates in the 1850s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 266-284, April.

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