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Bairoch revisited: tariff structure and growth in the late 19th century

  • Antonio Tena-Junguito

This paper revisits Bairoch’s hypothesis that in the late 19th century tariffs were positively associated with growth, as recently confirmed by a new generation of quantitative studies (see O`Rourke (2000), Jacks (2006) and Clemens-Williamson (2002, 2004)). This paper highlights the importance of the structure of protection in the relation between trade policy and its potential growth-promoting impact. Evidence is based on a new database on industrial tariffs for the 1870`s. The results show that income, factor endowment, and policy independence are important to explain regional asymmetries between tariffs and growth. At global level, increased protection, measured by total and average tariffs on manufactures, implied more un-skilled inefficient protection and less growth, and this is especially true for the poor countries in the late 19th century. Protection was only positive for a “rich club” if we include in this group New Settler countries which grew rapidly in the late 19th century and imposed high tariffs mainly for fiscal reasons.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27869/
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 27869.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:27869
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/

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  1. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 383-98, March.
  2. Sibylle H. Lehmann & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2008. "The Structure of Protection and Growth in the Late 19th Century," NBER Working Papers 14493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Junguito, Antonio Tena, 1999. "Un nuevo perfil del proteccionismo español durante la Restauración, 1875–1930," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 579-621, December.
  8. Douglas A. Irwin, 2002. "Did Import Substitution Promote Growth in the Late Nineteenth Century?," NBER Working Papers 8751, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. O'Rourke, Kevin H, 2000. "Tariffs and Growth in the Late 19th Century," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 456-83, April.
  11. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Anne O. Krueger, 1997. "Trade Policy and Economic Development: How We Learn," NBER Working Papers 5896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jeffrey G. Williamson & Luis Bertola, 2003. "Globalization in Latin America Before 1940," NBER Working Papers 9687, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. O'Rourke, K, 1997. "The European Grain Invasion 1870-1913," Papers 97/02, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  15. Federico, Giovanni & Tena, Antonio, 1998. "Was Italy a protectionist country?," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 73-97, April.
  16. Sebastian Edwards, 1991. "Trade Orientation, Distortions and Growth in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 3716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  27. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  28. Jacks, David S., 2006. "New results on the tariff growth paradox," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 205-230, August.
  29. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
  30. Nathan Nunn & Daniel Trefler, 2006. "Putting the Lid on Lobbying: Tariff Structure and Long-Term Growth when Protection is for Sale," NBER Working Papers 12164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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