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Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective

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  • Douglas A. Irwin
  • Kevin H. O'Rourke

Abstract

This paper provides a historical look at how the multilateral trading system has coped with the challenge of shocks and shifts. By shocks we mean sudden jolts to the world economy in the form of financial crises and deep recessions, or wars and political conflicts. By shifts we mean slow-moving, long-term changes in comparative advantage or shifts in the geopolitical equilibrium that force economies to undergo disruptive and potentially painful adjustments. We conclude that most shocks (financial crises and regional wars) have had relatively little effect on trade policy, but that shifts pose a greater challenge to the system of open, multilateral trade.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17598.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Publication status: published as Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective , Douglas A. Irwin, Kevin H. O'Rourke. in Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century , Feenstra and Taylor. 2014
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17598

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Chad P. Bown, 2011. "The Great Recession and Import Protection : The Role of Temporary Trade Barriers," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 16359, October.
  3. Markus Lampe, 2010. "Explaining nineteenth-century bilateralism: economic and political determinants of the Cobden-Chevalier network," Working Papers in Economic History wp10-06, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
  4. Lester, Simon, 2011. "The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy by Dani Rodrik New York: Norton, 2011," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 409-417, July.
  5. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2000. "When Did Globalization Begin?," NBER Working Papers 7632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Preface to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium
    [Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  7. Reuven Glick & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Collateral Damage: Trade Disruption and the Economic Impact of War," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 102-127, February.
  8. Eichengreen, Barry & Irwin, Douglas A., 2010. "The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression: Who Succumbed and Why?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(04), pages 871-897, December.
  9. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Introduction to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium
    [Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  10. Maggi, G & Rodriguez-Clare, A, 1996. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Papers 180, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  11. Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number eich92-1, June.
  12. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Preface)," Trinity Economics Papers tep0107, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  13. Markus Lampe, 2009. "Effects of Bilateralism and the MFN Clause on International Trade – Evidence for the Cobden-Chevalier Network, (1860-1875)," CQE Working Papers 0209, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.
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Cited by:
  1. Aled Davies, 2012. "The Evolution of British Monetarism: 1968-1979," Economics Series Working Papers Number 104, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Eric B. Schneider, 2012. "Real Wages and the Family: Adjusting Real Wages to Changing Demography in Pre-Modern England," Economics Series Working Papers Number 99, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Eric Schneider, 2012. "Prices and Production: Agricultural Supply Response in Fourteenth-Century England," Economics Series Working Papers Number 97, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Aled Davies, 2012. "The Evolution of British Monetarism: 1968-1979," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

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