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The French (Trade) Revolution of 1860: Intra-Industry Trade and Smooth Adjustment

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  • Becuwe, Stéphane
  • Blancheton, Bertrand
  • Meissner, Christopher M.

Abstract

The Cobden-Chevalier treaty of 1860 eliminated French import prohibitions and lowered tariffs between France and Great Britain. The policy change was largely unexpected and unusually free from direct lobbying. A series of commercial treaties with other nations followed. Post-1860, we find a significant rise in French intra-industry trade. Sectors that liberalized more experienced higher two-way trade. Our findings are consistent with the idea that trade liberalization led to “smooth adjustment” that avoided costly inter-sectoral re-allocations of factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Becuwe, Stéphane & Blancheton, Bertrand & Meissner, Christopher M., 2021. "The French (Trade) Revolution of 1860: Intra-Industry Trade and Smooth Adjustment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 688-722, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:81:y:2021:i:3:p:688-722_2
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services

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