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Capital Goods Prices, Global Capital Markets and Accumulation: 1870-1950

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  • William J. Collins
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

Conventional wisdom has it that global financial markets were as well integrated in the 1890s as in the 1990s, but that it took several post-war decades to regenerate the connections that existed before 1914. This view has emerged from a variety of tests for world financial capital market integration ranging from the correlation of saving and investment aggregates to the dispersion of security prices and real interest rates. Presumably, we care about global capital market integration because it can have an impact on accumulation performance and the global distribution of the capital stock. Oddly enough, however, the relative price of capital goods, an important component of the user cost of capital, has never been incorporated into studies of capital market integration and almost never in comparative studies of pre-1950 economic growth. This could be an important omission. This paper explores the issue with a panel data base 1870-1950 for eleven OECD countries. It turns out that capital goods prices have been central to accumulation, and therefore to growth and convergence. They have also been as important to the evolution of global capital markets as have been interest rates and other financial costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7145.

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Date of creation: May 1999
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Publication status: published as Collins, William J. and Jeffrey G. Williamson. "Capital-Goods Prices And Investment, 1879-1950," Journal of Economic History, 2001, v61(1,Mar), 59-94.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7145

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Cited by:
  1. Sergio L. Schmukler, 2004. "Financial globalization: gain and pain for developing countries," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 2, pages 39 - 66.
  2. Richard Rogerson, 2001. "Farm Work, Home Work and International Productivity Differences," Center for Development Economics, Department of Economics, Williams College 170, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  3. L. Rachel Ngai, 2003. "Barriers and the transition to modern growth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 3530, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Parisa SAMIMI & Guan Choo LIM & Abdul Aziz BUANG, 2011. "Globalization Measurement: Notes on Common Globalization Indexes," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 1(7), pages 20, December.

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