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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

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.

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Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2003-03.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: forthcoming in "A Deus Ex Machina Revisited. Atlantic Colonial Activities and European Economic Development" Olivier Pétré-Grenouilleau et Pieter Emmer, ed., Ashgate, expected 2004
Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0303
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  1. 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.
  2. Guillaume Daudin, 2002. "Comment calculer les profits de la traite ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/691, Sciences Po.
  3. 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.
  4. Paul M. Romer, 1989. "Increasing Returns and New Developments in the Theory of Growth," NBER Working Papers 3098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  6. R. B. Sheridan, 1965. "The Wealth of Jamaica in the Eighteenth Century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 18(2), pages 292-311, 08.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
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