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American Exceptionalism as a Problem in Global History

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  • Allen, Robert C.

Abstract

The causes of the United States’ exceptional economic performance are investigated by comparing American wages and prices with wages and prices in Great Britain, Egypt, and India. American industrialization in the nineteenth century required tariff protection since the country's comparative advantage lay in agriculture. After 1895 surging American productivity shifted the country's comparative advantage to manufacturing. Egypt and India could not have industrialized by following American policies since their wages were so low and their energy costs so high that the modern technology that was cost effective in Britain and the United States would not have paid in their circumstances.

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  • Allen, Robert C., 2014. "American Exceptionalism as a Problem in Global History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 309-350, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:74:y:2014:i:02:p:309-350_00
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    1. The Calico Acts: Was British cotton made possible by infant industry protection from Indian competition?
      by pseudoerasmus in Pseudoerasmus on 2017-01-05 11:01:14

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    3. Ernesto López Losa & Santiago Piquero Zarauz, 2016. "Spanish real wages in the Northern-Western European mirror, 1500-1800. On the timings and magnitude of the Little Divergence in Europe," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1607, Asociación Española de Historia Económica.
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    5. Peter Temin, 2014. "Economic History and Economic Development: New Economic History in Retrospect and Prospect," NBER Working Papers 20107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries
    • N6 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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