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The dispersion of customs tariffs in France between 1850 and 1913: discrimination in trade policy

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  • Stéphane BECUWE
  • Bertrand BLANCHETON

Abstract

This contribution purpose an original and exhaustive measure of customs tariffs dispersion depending on the origin of imported products in France between 1850 and 1913. While a part of this dispersion is the result of a systematic structural effect linked to the compiling of nomenclatures for France’s general trade chart, it nevertheless reveals the existence of direct discriminatory practices applied to certain countries for certain products. The principle of this dispersion of tariffs (which was not specific to France) introduces uncertainty over the strengths of empirical work dealing with the correlation between customs tariffs and growth (the tariff-growth paradox), and over the way in which the theme of effective trade protection has been treated. In our opinion, it should pave the way to work that reintroduces the country dimension into the study of late 19th century commercial policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane BECUWE & Bertrand BLANCHETON, 2012. "The dispersion of customs tariffs in France between 1850 and 1913: discrimination in trade policy," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2012-13, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2012-13
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    File URL: http://cahiersdugretha.u-bordeaux.fr/2012/2012-13.pdf
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    1. Accominotti, Olivier & Flandreau, Marc, 2005. "Does Bilateralism Promote Trade? Nineteenth Century Liberalization Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5423, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Jacks, David S., 2006. "New results on the tariff–growth paradox," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 205-230, August.
    3. Tena Junguito, Antonio, 2008. "Bairoch revisited : tariff structure and growth in the late 19th century," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp08-04, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
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    5. O'Rourke, Kevin H, 2000. "Tariffs and Growth in the Late 19th Century," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 456-483, April.
    6. David N. DeJong & Marla Ripoll, 2006. "Tariffs and Growth: An Empirical Exploration of Contingent Relationships," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 625-640, November.
    7. Moritz Schularick & Solomos Solomou, 2011. "Tariffs and economic growth in the first era of globalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 33-70, March.
    8. Federico, Giovanni & Tena Junguito, Antonio, 1998. "Did trade policy foster Italian industrialization evidences from the effective production rates 1870-1930," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wh985504, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    9. Lampe, Markus, 2009. "Effects of Bilateralism and the MFN Clause on International Trade: Evidence for the Cobden-Chevalier Network, 1860-1875," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 1012-1040, December.
    10. Federico, Giovanni & Tena, Antonio, 1998. "Was Italy a protectionist country?," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 73-97, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stéphane Bécuwe & Bertrand Blancheton & Christopher Meissner, 2015. "France’s international insertion strategy in globalization in the long run perspective 1836-1938," Post-Print hal-02149499, HAL.
    2. Stéphane Becuwe & Bertrand Blancheton & Christopher M Meissner, 2018. "Stages of diversification: France, 1836–1938," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 430-461.
    3. Stéphane Bécuwe & Bertrand Blancheton, 2020. "French textile specialisation in long run perspective (1836–1938): trade policy as industrial policy," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 62(6), pages 891-914, August.
    4. Giulia Meloni & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "The Rise and Fall of the World’s Largest Wine Exporter (And Its Institutional Legacy)," LICOS Discussion Papers 32713, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    5. Stephane Becuwe & Bertrand Blancheton & Leo Charles & Matthieu Clement, 2015. "Asymmetric influence of distance on french international trade 1850-1913," EcoMod2015 8552, EcoMod.
    6. Stéphane BECUWE & Bertrand BLANCHETON & Léo CHARLES, 2012. "The decline of French trade power during the first globalization (1850-1913)," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2012-22, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade policy; History of globalisation; Customs tariffs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services

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