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Do Frontiers give of do frontiers take ? The case of intercontinental trade in France at the end of the Ancien Régime

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Abstract

This paper studies the role of the French intercontinental trading maritime frontier in domestic capital accumulation at the end of the Ancien Régime. It uses O'Brien's method to measure the amount of annual profits generated in this sector. The net gain is then computed by computing how much income and savings the resources invested in the intercontinental sector would have had if they have been invested in the French domestic economy. Finally, using the notion of "heart of growth", the paper suggests that this frontier was more important for its attractiveness for domestic capitalists than for the riches it distributed.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillaume Daudin, 2003. "Do Frontiers give of do frontiers take ? The case of intercontinental trade in France at the end of the Ancien Régime," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2003-03, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0303
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    File URL: http://www.ofce.sciences-po.fr/pdf/dtravail/wp2003-03.pdf
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    1. Darity, William, 1985. "The Numbers Game and the Profitability of the British Trade in Slaves," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(03), pages 693-703, September.
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    3. Inikori, Joseph E., 1990. "The credit needs of the African trade and the development of the credit economy in England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 197-231, April.
    4. Coelho, Philip R. P., 1973. "The profitability of imperialism: The British experience in the West indies 1768-1772," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 253-280.
    5. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    6. Velde, François R. & Weir, David R., 1992. "The Financial Market and Government Debt Policy in France, 1746–1793," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 1-39, March.
    7. Engerman, Stanley L., 1972. "The Slave Trade and British Capital Formation in the Eighteenth Century: A Comment on the Williams Thesis," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(04), pages 430-443, December.
    8. R. B. Sheridan, 1965. "The Wealth of Jamaica in the Eighteenth Century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 18(2), pages 292-311, August.
    9. Guillaume Daudin, 2002. "The quality of slave trade investment in eighteenth century France," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2002-06, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    10. repec:eee:deveco:v:17:y:1985:i:1:p:99-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Daudin, Guillaume, 2004. "Profitability of Slave and Long-Distance Trading in Context: The Case of Eighteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(01), pages 144-171, March.
    12. Guillaume Daudin, 2002. "Comment calculer les profits de la traite ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/691, Sciences Po.
    13. Thomas, Robert Paul & Bean, Richard Nelson, 1974. "The Fishers of Men: The Profits of the Slave Trade," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(04), pages 885-914, December.
    14. Solow, Barbara L., 1985. "Caribbean slavery and British growth : The Eric Williams hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 99-115.
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    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. Guillaume Daudin, 2006. "Profits du commerce intercontinental et croissance dans la France du xviiie siècle," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(3), pages 605-613.
    3. Guillaume Daudin, 2002. "The quality of slave trade investment in eighteenth century France," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2002-06, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    France - 18th century; profits; internatinonal trade; economic growth; capital accumulation;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services

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