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Open Economy Forces and Late 19th Century Scandinavian Catch-Up

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  • Kevin O'Rourke
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

Scandinavia recorded very high growth rates between 1870 and 1914, catching up with the leaders. This paper estimates that about two-thirds of the Scandinavian catching up on Britain was due to the open economy forces of global factor and commodity market integration. All of the Scandinavian catching up on America was due to the same open economy forces. The question for the economist is: Why does the new growth theory spend so little time dealing with these open economy forces? The question for the economic historian is: Can the breakdown of global factor and commodity markets after 1914 explain a large share of the cessation of convergence up to 1950? Can the spectacular OECD convergence achieved after 1950 be explained by the resumption of the pre-1914 open economy conditions that contributed so much to Scandinavian catch-up?

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5112.

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Date of creation: May 1995
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Publication status: published as "Open Economy Forces and Late 19th Century Swedish Catch-Up: A Quantitative Accounting," Scandinavian Economic History Review, vol. XLIII no. 2 (1995):pp. 171-203.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5112

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Cited by:
  1. Alan M. Taylor, 1996. "Sources of Convergence in the Late Nineteenth Century," NBER Working Papers 5806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Larsson, Svante, 2005. "Globalisation, inequality and Swedish catch up in the late nineteenth century. Williamson’s real wage comparisons under scrutiny," Göteborg Papers in Economic History 2, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History.
  3. Hatton, Timothy J., 2010. "The Cliometrics of International Migration: A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 4900, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Kevin O'Rourke, 2004. "The Era of Free Migration: Lessons for Today," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp018, IIIS.
  5. Matthew Slaughter, 2001. "Does trade liberalization converge factor prices? Evidence from the antebellum transportation revolution," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 339-362.
  6. Berger, Thor & Enflo, Kerstin, 2014. "Locomotives of Local Growth: The Short- and Long-Term Impact of Railroads in Sweden," Lund Papers in Economic History 132, Department of Economic History, Lund University.
  7. Nicholas Crafts, 1999. "Quantitative economic history," Economic History Working Papers 22390, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  8. Alfonso Herranz Loncan & Daniel Aurelio Tirado Fabregat, 1996. "Foreign trade traps in the european periphery: Spain, 1870-1913," Working Papers in Economics 5, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.

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