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

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  • Tena-Junguito, Antonio

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tena-Junguito, Antonio, 2009. "Bairoch revisited: tariff structure and growth in the late 19th century," Economic History Working Papers 27869, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:27869
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27869/
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Federico & Paul Sharp & Antonio Tena-Junguito, 2017. "Openness and growth in a historical perspective: a VECM approach," Working Papers 0118, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    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. Sibylle H. Lehmann and Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2008. "The structure of protection and growth in the late 19th century," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp269, IIIS.

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