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Effects of Bilateralism and the MFN Clause on International Trade – Evidence for the Cobden-Chevalier Network, (1860-1875)

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  • Markus Lampe

Abstract

This study contributes to a revised picture of nineteenth-century bilateralism. Employing a new disaggregated dataset, it argues that bilateral treaties did not implement general free trade, but instead reduced tariffs unevenly through commodity-specific preferences, especially favoring manufactured goods. Gravity model estimates show that specific liberalizations translated into systematic increases in exports of corresponding items, but not overall trade. Exporters of countries whose governments used bilateralism strategically to bring down partner tariffs benefitted most. Hence, the network in form and outcome is more properly identified with reciprocal liberalization practiced by the French than with British free trade ideology.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Lampe, 2009. "Effects of Bilateralism and the MFN Clause on International Trade – Evidence for the Cobden-Chevalier Network, (1860-1875)," CQE Working Papers 0209, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.
  • Handle: RePEc:cqe:wpaper:0209
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    File URL: https://www.wiwi.uni-muenster.de/cqe/sites/cqe/files/CQE_Paper/CQE_WP_2_2009.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Léo CHARLES, 2015. "Evolution of trade patterns and economic performance:the case of France and Switzerland during the nineteenth century," Cahiers du GREThA 2015-28, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    2. 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.
    3. Michel Fouquin & Jules Hugot, 2016. "Back to the Future: International Trade Costs and the Two Globalizations," VNIVERSITAS ECONÓMICA 015130, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
    4. 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.
    5. Douglas A. Irwin & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2013. "Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 11-37 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke & Douglas A. Irwin, 2011. "Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _092, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. Michael Huberman & Christopher M. Meissner, 2009. "Riding the Wave of Trade: Explaining the Rise of Labor Regulation in the Golden Age of Globalization," NBER Working Papers 15374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2009. "Something Rational in the State of Denmark? The Case of an Outsider in the Cobden-Chevalier Network 1860-1875," Discussion Papers 09-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    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. Stéphane BECUWE & Bertrand BLANCHETON & Léo CHARLES, 2013. "First globalization: Why did France miss the boat?," Cahiers du GREThA 2013-17, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    11. Léo CHARLES, 2017. "A new empirical test of the infant-industry argument : the case of Switzerland protectionism during the 19th century," Cahiers du GREThA 2017-11, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    12. Feuerstein Switgard, 2013. "From the Zollverein to the Economics of Regionalism," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(3), pages 367-388, June.
    13. Meissner, Christopher M., 2014. "Growth from Globalization? A View from the Very Long Run," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 1033-1069 Elsevier.
    14. Iakov T. Kuga, 2016. "National Borders and Urban Growth: Evidence from the Annexation of Alsace and Lorraine," HSE Working papers WP BRP 133/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    15. Douglas A. Irwin & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2013. "Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 11-37 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    preferential trade agreements; Anglo-French treaty; bilateralism; liberalisation; gravity model;

    JEL classification:

    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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