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Transport Costs and the Geography of Arbitrage in Eighteenth-Century China

  • Carol H. Shiue

Trade has been considered a condition for growth and development, a view that might have merits in explaining the rise of the Western world. I use a new data set from archival sources of eighteenth-century China to revisit this question. This analysis suggests previous studies of market integration, which attribute much growth to a reduction in transport costs, have overestimated these effects. I find the overall level of market integration in China was higher than previously thought, and, intertemporal effects are important substitutes for trade. Both factors reduce the importance of trade as a unique explanation for subsequent growth.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282802762024566
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 92 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1406-1419

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:5:p:1406-1419
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282802762024566
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  1. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  2. Gallup, John L. & Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Mellinger, Andrew, . "Geography and Economic Development," Instructional Stata datasets for econometrics geodata, Boston College Department of Economics.
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