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Technology and Geography in the Second Industrial Revolution: New Evidence from the Margins of Trade

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  • Huberman, Michael
  • Meissner, Christopher M.
  • Oosterlinck, Kim

Abstract

Belle Époque Belgium recorded an unprecedented trade boom. Exploiting a new granular trade dataset, we find that the number of products delivered abroad and destinations serviced more than doubled in less than 40 years. To explain this remarkable achievement, we study the relationship between trade costs and the intensive and extensive margins of trade. The establishment of a foreign diplomatic network that lowered beachhead costs and enabled the entry of new products was an essential fact of the trade boom. Interestingly, the expansion in trade in certain sectors did not translate into faster productivity growth. We offer some explanations.

Suggested Citation

  • Huberman, Michael & Meissner, Christopher M. & Oosterlinck, Kim, 2017. "Technology and Geography in the Second Industrial Revolution: New Evidence from the Margins of Trade," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 39-89, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:77:y:2017:i:01:p:39-89_00
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    1. Le lien entre échanges et croissance lors de la première mondialisation
      by Martin Anota in D'un champ l'autre on 2015-02-10 00:26:36

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    8. Léo CHARLES, 2015. "Evolution of trade patterns and economic performance:the case of France and Switzerland during the nineteenth century," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2015-28, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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