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Land, Labor and Globalization in the Pre-Industrial Third World

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  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

A Third World data base documenting commodity and factor prices 1870-1940 has been collected, yielding annual time series on wage/rental ratios, land/labor ratios, the terms of trade, and other explanatory variables for: Argentina, Burma, Egypt, Japan, Korea, the Punjab, Taiwan, Thailand and Uruguay. These 9 have been added to a previously-collected data base for 10 in the so-called greater Atlantic economy: Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and the USA. These 19 countries form the panel data base which is used to explore the determinants of wage/rental ratios the world round between 1870 and 1940. The data offer a useful way to identify the impact of globalization on the pre-industrial Third World. This paper finds commodity price convergence to have been bigger in the Third World than the Atlantic economy. It also identifies the sources of a previously-unnoticed but enormous convergence in wage/rental ratios. Commodity price convergence and factor supply responses appear to be an important source of the relative factor price convergence in the Third World, more clearly exposed by the absence of significant industrialization and capital-deepening forces there prior to 1940.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7784.

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Date of creation: Jul 2000
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Publication status: published as Williamson, Jeffrey G. "Land, Labor, And Globalization In The Third World, 1870-1940," Journal of Economic History, 2002, v62(1,Mar), 55-85.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7784

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  1. O'Rourke, Kevin H & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2000. "The Heckscher-Ohlin Model Between 1400 and 2000: When It Explained Factor Price Convergence, When It Did Not, and Why," CEPR Discussion Papers 2372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Huber, J Richard, 1971. "Effect on Prices of Japan's Entry into World Commerce after 1858," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 614-28, May-June.
  3. Mussa, Michael, 1979. "The two-sector model in terms of its dual : A geometric exposition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 513-526, November.
  4. Deaton, A., 1999. "Commodity Prices and Growth in Aftica," Papers 186, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  5. Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1997. "Globalization and Inequality, Past and Present," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 117-35, August.
  6. Richard E. Baldwin & Philippe Martin, 1999. "Two Waves of Globalisation: Superficial Similarities, Fundamental Differences," NBER Working Papers 6904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. O'Rourke, Kevin & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1994. "Late Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Factor-Price Convergence: Were Heckscher and Ohlin Right?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 892-916, December.
  8. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  9. Kimura, Mitsuhiko, 1993. "Standards of Living in Colonial Korea: Did the Masses Become Worse Off or Better Off Under Japanese Rule?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(03), pages 629-652, September.
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  11. Danny Quah, 1993. "Exploiting Cross Section Variation for Unit Root Inference in Dynamic Data," FMG Discussion Papers dp171, Financial Markets Group.
  12. Howe, Christopher, 1996. "The Origins of Japanese Trade Supremacy," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226354859, June.
  13. Ardeni, Pier Giorgio & Wright, Brian, 1992. "The Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis: A Reappraisal Independent of Stationarity Hypotheses," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 803-12, July.
  14. O'Rourke, Kevin H & Taylor, Alan M & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1996. "Factor Price Convergence in the Late Nineteenth Century," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(3), pages 499-530, August.
  15. Grilli, Enzo R & Yang, Maw Cheng, 1988. "Primary Commodity Prices, Manufactured Goods Prices, and the Terms of Trade of Developing Countries: What the Long Run Shows," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(1), pages 1-47, January.
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  19. Cuddington, John T., 1992. "Long-run trends in 26 primary commodity prices : A disaggregated look at the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 207-227, October.
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Cited by:
  1. K. H. O'Rourke, 2001. "Globalization and Inequality: Historical Trends," CEG Working Papers 20015, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  2. Michael Huberman & Wayne Lewchuk, 2002. "European Economic Integration and the Labour Compact, 1850-1913," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-34, CIRANO.
  3. Sebastián Fleitas & Andrés Rius & Carolina Román & Henry Willebald, 2013. "Contract enforcement, investment and growth in Uruguay since 1870," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 13-01, Instituto de Economía - IECON.

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