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Why did Switzerland succeed? An analysis of Swiss specializations (1885-1905)

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  • Léo CHARLES

Abstract

The singularity of the Swiss economy during the first globalization is a well-known subject in historiography. Many authors highlight the role of institutions, the size of the country or the weak influence of the lobbies on economic decisions to explain the high economic growth from the 1880’s. Using an original and highly disaggregated database, this article takes into account the Swiss choices in terms of industrial specializations. We found out that the development of modern specializations as well as a move upmarket in the “old” specializations can be one of the explanations of the Swiss ‘miracle’.

Suggested Citation

  • Léo CHARLES, 2013. "Why did Switzerland succeed? An analysis of Swiss specializations (1885-1905)," Cahiers du GREThA 2013-15, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2013-15
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    File URL: http://cahiersdugretha.u-bordeaux4.fr/2013/2013-15.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Stéphane BECUWE (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Bertrand BLANCHETON (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Léo CHARLES (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2012. "The decline of French trade power during the first globalization (1850-1913)," Cahiers du GREThA 2012-22, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    3. Stéphane Becuwe, 1989. "Les déterminants macro-économiques du commerce intra-branche de la France : une approche de long terme (1850-1980)," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 40(5), pages 863-886.
    4. Tena-Junguito, Antonio, 2010. "Bairoch revisited: tariff structure and growth in the late nineteenth century," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(01), pages 111-143, April.
    5. David, Thomas & Mach, Andre, 2006. "Institutions and Economic Growth: The Successful Experience of Switzerland (1870-1950)," WIDER Working Paper Series 101, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Hubert Bonin & Bertrand Blancheton, 2009. "La croissance en économie ouverte (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles). Hommage à Jean-Charles Asselain," Post-Print hal-00383129, HAL.
    7. Douglas A. Irwin, 2002. "Interpreting the Tariff-Growth Correlation of the Late Nineteenth Century," NBER Working Papers 8739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic growth; specialization; Swiss economy;

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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