Tariffs and Growth in Late Nineteenth Century America
Were high import tariffs somehow related to the strong U.S. economic growth during the late nineteenth century? This paper examines this frequently mentioned but controversial question and investigates the channels by which tariffs could have promoted growth during this period. The paper shows that: (i) late nineteenth century growth hinged more on population expansion and capital accumulation than on productivity growth; (ii) tariffs may have discouraged capital accumulation by raising the price of imported capital goods; (iii) productivity growth was most rapid in non-traded sectors (such as utilities and services) whose performance was not directly related to the tariff.
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Volume (Year): 24 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Irwin, Douglas A., 1998.
"Higher Tariffs, Lower Revenues? Analyzing the Fiscal Aspects of “The Great Tariff Debate of 1888”,"
The Journal of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 59-72, March.
- Douglas A. Irwin, 1997. "Higher Tariffs, Lower Revenues? Analyzing the Fiscal Aspects of the "Great Tariff Debate of 1888"," NBER Working Papers 6239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
- O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 1997. "Tariffs and Growth in the Late Nineteenth Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 1700, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to Cross-National Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)