IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/5423.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Bilateralism Promote Trade? Nineteenth Century Liberalization Revisited

Author

Listed:
  • Accominotti, Olivier
  • Flandreau, Marc

Abstract

Textbook accounts of the Anglo-French trade agreement of 1860 argue that it heralded the beginning of a liberal trading order. This alleged success has much interest from a policy point of view: unlike modern GATT/WTO multilateral agreements, it rested on bilateral negotiations. But, in reality, how great were its effects? With the help of new data on international trade we provide empirical evidence. We find that the Anglo-French treaty and subsequent network of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trade agreements coincided with the end of a period of unilateral liberalization across the world, and that it did not contribute to expand trade at all. This is contrary to a deeply rooted belief among economists and economic historians. We conclude that, contrary to a popular wisdom, bilateralism did not promote trade in the 19th century.

Suggested Citation

  • Accominotti, Olivier & Flandreau, Marc, 2005. "Does Bilateralism Promote Trade? Nineteenth Century Liberalization Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5423, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5423
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5423
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Irwin, Douglas A., 1995. "Trade blocs, currency blocs and the reorientation of world trade in the 1930s," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 1-24, February.
    2. Marc Flandreau & Mathilde Maurel, 2005. "Monetary Union, Trade Integration, and Business Cycles in 19th Century Europe," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 135-152, April.
    3. Irwin, Douglas A., 2003. "New Estimates of the Average Tariff of the United States, 1790 1820," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 506-513, June.
    4. Irwin, Douglas A., 1993. "Free Trade and Protection in Nineteenth-Century Britain and France Revisited: A Comment on Nye," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(01), pages 146-152, March.
    5. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    6. Nye, John Vincent, 1993. "Reply to Irwin on Free Trade," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(01), pages 153-158, March.
    7. Nye, John Vincent, 1991. "The Myth of Free-Trade Britain and Fortress France: Tariffs and Trade in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 23-46, March.
    8. Irwin, Douglas A, 1988. "Welfare Effects of British Free Trade: Debate and Evidence from the 1840s," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1142-1164, December.
    9. Kindleberger, C. P., 1975. "The Rise of Free Trade in Western Europe, 1820–1875," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(01), pages 20-55, March.
    10. I-Hui Cheng & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Controlling for heterogeneity in gravity models of trade and integration," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 49-63.
    11. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, January.
    12. Mathilde Maurel, 1998. "Régionalisme et désintégration en Europe centrale et orientale : Une approche gravitationnelle," Post-Print halshs-00468847, HAL.
    13. Robert E. Lipsey, 1963. "Introduction to "Price and Quantity Trends in the Foreign Trade of the United States"," NBER Chapters,in: Price and Quantity Trends in the Foreign Trade of the United States, pages 3-7 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. McCloskey, Donald N., 1980. "Magnanimous albion: Free trade and British national income, 1841-1881," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 303-320, July.
    15. Irwin, Douglas A, 1995. "The GATT in Historical Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 323-328, May.
    16. Flandreau, Marc, 2000. "The economics and politics of monetary unions: a reassessment of the Latin Monetary Union, 1865 71," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(01), pages 25-44, April.
    17. Pahre, Robert, 2001. "Most-Favored-Nation Clauses and Clustered Negotiations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 859-890, September.
    18. Douglas A. Irwin, 1989. "Political Economy And Peel'S Repeal Of The Corn Laws," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 41-59, March.
    19. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1990. "The impact of the Corn Laws just prior to repeal," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 123-156, April.
    20. Doulgas A. Irwin, 2003. "New Estimates of the Average Tariff of the United States, 1790-1820," NBER Working Papers 9616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Robert E. Lipsey, 1963. "Price and Quantity Trends in the Foreign Trade of the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lips63-1, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kevin H. O'Rourke, Leandro Prados de la Escosura and Guilllaume Daudin, 2008. "Trade and Empire, 1700-1870," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp249, IIIS.
    2. Tena-Junguito, Antonio & Lampe, Markus & Fernandes, Felipe Tâmega, 2012. "How Much Trade Liberalization Was There in the World Before and After Cobden-Chevalier?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(03), pages 708-740, September.
    3. Jacks, David S. & Meissner, Christopher M. & Novy, Dennis, 2011. "Trade booms, trade busts, and trade costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 185-201, March.
    4. Jacks, David S. & Meissner, Christopher M. & Novy, Dennis, 2010. "Trade costs in the first wave of globalization," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 127-141, April.
    5. Stéphane BECUWE (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Bertrand BLANCHETON (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2012. "The dispersion of customs tariffs in France between 1850 and 1913: discrimination in trade policy," Cahiers du GREThA 2012-13, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/6149 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kris James Mitchener & Marc Weidenmier, 2008. "Trade and Empire," NBER Working Papers 13765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Michel Fouquin & Jules Hugot, 2016. "Back to the Future: International Trade Costs and the Two Globalizations," VNIVERSITAS ECONÓMICA 015130, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
    9. Stéphane BECUWE (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Bertrand BLANCHETON (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Léo CHARLES (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2012. "The decline of French trade power during the first globalization (1850-1913)," Cahiers du GREThA 2012-22, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    10. Gerhard Kling & Joerg Baten & Kirsten Labuske, 2011. "FDI of German Companies During Globalization and Deglobalization," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 247-270, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anglo-French treaty; bilateralism; liberalization; MFN; multilateralism; trade policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5423. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.