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The Commodity Export, Growth, and Distribution Connection in Southeast Asia 1500-1940

  • Williamson, Jeffrey G
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    This paper explores Southeast Asia's trade performance over the four and a half centuries from 1500 to 1940. It identifies the determinants of the commodity export performance – falling trade costs, income growth of its trading partners, and improved supply conditions at home. It also explores its impact on Southeast Asia's growth performance: trade specialization generated more macro volatility, de-industrialization, rising colonial power, and greater inequality up to World War 1, but these forces turned around in the region thereafter, including some modest industrial Catch-up. Finally, the paper elaborates on the distributional impact and colonial profitability of commodity export booms and busts throughout the last century.

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    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9364.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9364
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    1. David S. Jacks & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," NBER Working Papers 14748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Engerman,Stanley L. & Sokoloff,Kenneth L., 2012. "Economic Development in the Americas since 1500," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107009554.
    3. Antoni Estevadeordal & Brian Frantz & Alan M. Taylor, 2002. "The Rise and Fall of World Trade, 1870-1939," NBER Working Papers 9318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2002. "Land, Labor, And Globalization In The Third World, 1870 1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(01), pages 55-85, March.
    5. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2002. "After Columbus: Explaining Europe'S Overseas Trade Boom, 1500 1800," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(02), pages 417-456, June.
    6. González, Rafael Dobado & Galvarriato, Aurora Gómez & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2008. "Mexican Exceptionalism: Globalization and De-Industrialization, 1750–1877," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(03), pages 758-811, September.
    7. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2011. "Trade and Poverty: When the Third World Fell Behind," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262015158, June.
    8. Douglas A. Irwin, 1990. "Mercantilism as strategic trade policy: the Anglo-Dutch rivalry for the East India trade," International Finance Discussion Papers 392, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "Trade and Poverty: When the Third World Fell Behind," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262015153, June.
    10. Clingingsmith, David & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2008. "Deindustrialization in 18th and 19th century India: Mughal decline, climate shocks and British industrial ascent," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 209-234, July.
    11. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
    12. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    13. Resnick, Stephen A., 1970. "The Decline of Rural Industry Under Export Expansion: A Comparison among Burma, Philippines, and Thailand, 1870–1938," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(01), pages 51-73, March.
    14. Pierre van der Eng, 2007. "'De-industrialisation' and colonial rule: The cotton textile industry in Indonesia, 1820-1941," Departmental Working Papers 2007-04, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
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