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

  • Stéphane BECUWE (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
  • Bertrand BLANCHETON (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)

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.

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Paper provided by Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée in its series Cahiers du GREThA with number 2012-13.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2012-13
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  1. Antonio Tena Junguito, 2008. "Bairoch revisited. Tariff structure and growth in the late 19th century," Working Papers in Economic History wp08-04, Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales.
  2. Accominotti, Olivier & Flandreau, Marc, 2005. "Does Bilateralism Promote Trade? Nineteenth Century Liberalization Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5423, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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(04), pages 1012-1040, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Giovanni Federico & Antonio Tena Junguito, 1998. "Did trade policy foster Italian industrialization evidences from the effective production rates 1870-1930," Working Papers in Economic History wh985504, Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales.
  8. O'Rourke, Kevin H., 1997. "Measuring protection: a cautionary tale," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 169-183, June.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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