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Tariff Incidence in America's Gilded Age

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  • Irwin, Douglas A.

Abstract

In the late nineteenth century, the United States imposed high tariffs to protect domestic manufacturers from foreign competition. This article examines the magnitude of protection given to import-competing producers and the costs imposed on export-oriented producers by focusing on changes in the domestic prices of traded goods relative to nontraded goods. The results suggest that the 30 percent average import tariff gave about a 17 percent implicit subsidy to import-competing producers and effectively taxed exporters at about 10 percent. Tariffs redistributed large amounts of income (about 8 percent of GDP), but the effect on consumers was roughly neutral.

Suggested Citation

  • Irwin, Douglas A., 2007. "Tariff Incidence in America's Gilded Age," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 582-607, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:67:y:2007:i:03:p:582-607_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Clements, Kenneth W. & Fry, Renée, 2008. "Commodity currencies and currency commodities," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 55-73, June.
    2. Gupta, Bishnupriya & Mookherjee, Dilip & Munshi, Kaivan & Sanclemente, Mario, 2019. "Community Origins of Industrial Entrepreneurship in Pre-Independence India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1189, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2010. "Backward stealing and forward manipulation in the WTO," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 49-62, September.
    4. Bishnupriya Gupta & Dilip Mookherjee & Kaivan Munshi & Mario Sanclemente, 2018. "Community Origins of Industrial Entrepreneurship in Pre-Independence India," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-318, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    5. Douglas A. Irwin, 2007. "Trade Restrictiveness and Deadweight Losses from U.S. Tariffs, 1859-1961," NBER Working Papers 13450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jacks, David S. & Meissner, Christopher M. & Novy, Dennis, 2010. "Trade costs in the first wave of globalization," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 127-141, April.
    7. Harrison, Ann & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2010. "Trade, Foreign Investment, and Industrial Policy for Developing Countries," Handbook of Development Economics,, Elsevier.
    8. Gupta, Bishnupriya & Mookherjee, Dilip & Munshi, Kaivan & Sanclemente, Mario, 2019. "Community Origins of Industrial Entrepreneurship in Pre-Independence India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 402, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services

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