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Global Trade and the Maritime Transport Revolution

Author

Listed:
  • David S Jacks

    (Simon Fraser University and NBER)

  • Krishna Pendakur

    (Simon Fraser University)

Abstract

What is the role of transport improvements in globalization? We argue that the nineteenth century is the ideal testing ground: maritime freight rates fell on average by 50% while global trade increased 400% from 1870 to 1913. We estimate the first indices of bilateral freight rates and directly incorporate these into a standard gravity model. We also take the endogeneity of bilateral trade and freight rates seriously and propose an instrumental variables approach. The results are striking: we find no evidence that the maritime transport revolution was the primary driver of the late-nineteenth-century global trade boom. (c) 2010 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • David S Jacks & Krishna Pendakur, 2010. "Global Trade and the Maritime Transport Revolution," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 745-755, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:92:y:2010:i:4:p:745-755
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    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative

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