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Ideas, Interests, and Politics in the Case of Belgian Corn Law Repeal, 1834–1873


  • Van Dijck, Maarten
  • Truyts, Tom


Economic interests, ideas, and politics have been put forward as explanations for the Repeal of the British Corn Laws. This article evaluates these competing explanations using the case of the Belgian Corn Laws between 1834 and 1873. A detailed quantitative analysis assesses the success of party affiliation and personal and constituency economic interests in predicting representatives' voting behavior. These factors prove to be insufficient to explain the shift towards free trade. This article then moves on to a qualitative analysis, which points to the importance of political strategy and ideas in the liberalization of corn tariffs.

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  • Van Dijck, Maarten & Truyts, Tom, 2011. "Ideas, Interests, and Politics in the Case of Belgian Corn Law Repeal, 1834–1873," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(01), pages 185-210, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:71:y:2011:i:01:p:185-210_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Gerhard Bry, 1960. "Introduction to "Wages in Germany, 1871-1945"," NBER Chapters,in: Wages in Germany, 1871-1945, pages 1-13 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bentley B. Gilbert, 1965. "The Decay of Nineteenth-Century Provident Institutions and the Coming of Old Age Pensions in Great Britain," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 17(3), pages 551-563, April.
    7. Gottlieb, Daniel, 2007. "Asymmetric information in late 19th century cooperative insurance societies," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 270-292, April.
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