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Fighting the forces of gravity - Seapower and maritime trade between the 18th and 20th centuries

  • Rahman, Ahmed S.

How have large naval powers affected international commerce in history? Using a panel gravity model, we investigate the interactions of wars, alliances, naval power and trade from the 18th to mid-20th centuries. Striking an alliance with a naval power helps a country's interstate commerce. Fighting a naval power on the other hand limits a country's interstate commerce. Further, we split this effect on trade between an extensive effect (effect on a country's trade when fighting a naval power) and an intensive effect (effect of that power gaining more naval strength). We conclude that the intensive effect is a powerful one - large navies have historically been destroyers of trade when mobilized to combat.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 47 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 28-48

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:47:y:2010:i:1:p:28-48
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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