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From Malthus to Ohlin: Trade, Growth and Distribution Since 1500

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  • Kevin H. O'Rourke
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

A recent endogenous growth literature has focused on the transition from a Malthusian world where real wages were linked to factor endowments, to one where modern growth has broken that link. In this Paper we present evidence on another, related phenomenon: the dramatic reversal in distributional trends – from a steep secular fall to a steep secular rise in wage-land rent ratios – which occurred some time early in the 19th century. What explains this reversal? While it may seem logical to locate the causes in the Industrial Revolutionary forces emphasized by endogenous growth theorists, we provide evidence that something else mattered just as much: the opening up of the European economy to international trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics in its series Trinity Economics Papers with number 20025.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:20025

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Postal: Trinity College, Dublin 2
Phone: (+ 353 1) 6081325
Fax: 6772503
Web page: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2002. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
  3. R. Findlay & K. H. O'Rourke, 2001. "Commodity market integration, 1500-2000," Trinity Economics Papers 200113, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Harley, C. Knick & Crafts, N.F.R., 2000. "Simulating the Two Views of the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 819-841, September.
  6. Harley, C. Knick, 1988. "Ocean Freight Rates and Productivity, 1740–1913: The Primacy of Mechanical Invention Reaffirmed," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 851-876, December.
  7. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1998. "Malthus to Solow," NBER Working Papers 6858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. K. H. O'Rourke & J. G. Williamson, 2001. "After Columbus: Explaining the Global Trade Boom 1500-1800," Trinity Economics Papers 20016, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  9. Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," NBER Working Papers 7375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Findlay, R., 1990. "The " Triangular Trade" And The Atlantic Economy Of The Eighteenth Centrury: A Simple General-Equilibrium Model," Princeton Studies in International Economics 177, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  14. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1994. "The Political Economy of Growth: A Critical Survey of the Recent Literature," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 351-71, September.
  15. O Rourke, Kevin H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2002. "When did globalisation begin?," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 23-50, April.
  16. Marvin Goodfriend & John McDermott, 1994. "Early development," Working Paper 94-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  17. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, December.
  18. Mokyr, Joel, 1977. "Demand vs. Supply in the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(04), pages 981-1008, December.
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  20. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519.
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  22. Galor, Oded & Mountford, Andrew, 2002. "Why are a Third of People Indian and Chinese? Trade, Industrialization and Demographic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 3136, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Temin, Peter, 1997. "Two Views of the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(01), pages 63-82, March.
  24. John H. Coatsworth & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "The Roots of Latin American Protectionism: Looking Before the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 8999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  26. 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.
  27. Christopher Blattman & Michael A. Clemens & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Who Protected and Why? Tariffs the World Around 1870-1938," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2010, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  30. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Davin Chor, 2005. "Institutions, Wages and Inequality : The Case of Europe and its Periphery (1500-1899)," Microeconomics Working Papers 22065, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  2. Bertocchi, Graziella, 2003. "The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3723, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Popov, Vladimir, 2010. "Development theories and development experience: half a century journey," MPRA Paper 28111, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. James A. Robinson, 2006. "Equity, Institutions and the Development Process," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 32, pages 17-50.
  5. Vladimir Popov, 2009. "Why the West Became Rich before China and Why China Has Been Catching Up with the West since 1949: nother Explanation of the “Great Divergence” and “Great Convergence” Stories," Working Papers w0132, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  6. Sharp, Paul & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2013. "Globalization revisited: Market integration and the wheat trade between North America and Britain from the eighteenth century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 88-98.

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