Trade and the Pattern of European Imperialism, 1492-2000
AbstractI construct a trade model of empire, and use it to interpret some of the key patterns in the history of European imperialism.� I begin from the observation that trade was a key source of wealth for the colonies, and trade restrictions a key tool of extraction for colonial powers.� But the value of this tool must be seen in relation to the value of colonial trade, and to the extent of international competition for it.� The model interprets the colonial empires that emerged in the 16th-18th century as a set of political institutions designed to appropriate the value of colonial trade to the mother country, at a time in which colonial trade was both valuable and highly competed for.� It explains the fluctuations in the fortunes of empire in the 19th and early 20th century with the rise of a clear industrial leader, Britain, and her subsequent decline.� Finally, it attributes the fall of colonial empires to a secular fall in the importance of colonial trade, relative to trade between the industrial countries.� I provide detailed historical evidence in support of these predictions.� The model also has predictions for the impact of empire-building on trade relations between the imperial powers.� These are consistent with the apparent inverse relation between European imperial expansion and globalization.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 618.
Date of creation: 09 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Imperialism; Preferential trade agreements; Intra-industry trade; Hegemonic stability;
Other versions of this item:
- Roberto Bonfatti, 2013. "Trade and the Pattern of European Imperialism, 1492-2000," Discussion Papers 2013-01, University of Nottingham, GEP.
- F1 - International Economics - - Trade
- F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
- N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997.
"An Economic Theory of GATT,"
NBER Working Papers
6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guillaume Daudin & Kevin H O'Rourke & Leandro Prados De La Escosura, 2008.
"Trade and Empire, 1700-1870,"
Sciences Po publications
2008-24, Sciences Po.
- Kevin H. O'Rourke, Leandro Prados de la Escosura and Guilllaume Daudin, 2008. "Trade and Empire, 1700-1870," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp249, IIIS.
- Kevin H. O’Rourke & Leandro Prados de la Escosura & Guillaume Daudin, 2008. "Trade and Empire, 1700-1870," Trinity Economics Papers tep0208, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics, revised May 2008.
- Guillaume Daudin & Kevin H. O’Rourke & Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2008. "Trade and Empire, 1700-1870," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-24, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
- Kevin H. O'Rourke & Leandro Prados de la Escosura & Guillaume Daudin, 2008. "Trade and Empire, 1700-1870," Working Papers in Economic History wp08-09, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
- Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008.
"Globalization and the Great Divergence: Terms of Trade Booms and Volatility in the Poor Periphery 1782-1913,"
08-07, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
- Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Globalization and the Great Divergence: Terms of Trade Booms and Volatility in the Poor Periphery 1782-1913," NBER Working Papers 13841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert C. Allen, 2003. "Progress and poverty in early modern Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(3), pages 403-443, 08.
- Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Rent Destruction and the Political Viability of Free Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1475-1506, November.
- John Gallagher & Ronald Robinson, 1953. "The Imperialism Of Free Trade," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 6(1), pages 1-15, 08.
- Carlos, Ann M., 2003. "The Rise of Commercial Empires: England and the Netherlands in the Age of Mercantilism, 1650 1770. By David Ormond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pp. ix, 388. $75.00," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(04), pages 1154-1155, December.
- Krugman, Paul R, 1981. "Intraindustry Specialization and the Gains from Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 959-73, October.
- Garfinkel , Michelle & Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2012. "Trade and Insecure Resources: Implications for Welfare and Comparative Advantage," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2012-8, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
- Roberto Bonfatti, 2012. "The Sustainability of Empire in Global Perspective: The Role of International Trade Patterns," CESifo Working Paper Series 3857, CESifo Group Munich.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Caroline Wise).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.