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Tariff protection in Sweden 1885–1914


  • Bohlin, Jan

    () (Department of Economic History, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)


This paper presents disaggregated estimates of nominal and effective rates of tariff protection for Sweden 1885–1914. In a methodological part of the article I argue that the proper way to measure tariff protection is an output weighted average of tariff rates for a representative sample of commodities. In the empirical part of the paper, I show that Swedish tariff protection increased substantially in the period even though tariff income as a proportion of total imports decreased slightly. This seeming contradiction is explained by the restructuring of Swedish imports that took place in the period under review; the share in imports of highly protected consumer goods declined while the share of capital goods with lower protection rates and duty free raw materials and input goods increased. The result stands in contradiction to some recent views expressed in the international literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Bohlin, Jan, 2005. "Tariff protection in Sweden 1885–1914," Göteborg Papers in Economic History 1, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunhis:0001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. G. R. Hawke, 1975. "The United States Tariff and Industrial Protection in the Late Nineteenth Century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 28(1), pages 84-99, February.
    2. 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.
    3. Nye, John Vincent, 1991. "The Myth of Free-Trade Britain and Fortress France: Tariffs and Trade in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 23-46, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, January.
    6. Webb, Steven B., 1982. "Agricultural Protection in Wilhelminian Germany: Forging an Empire with Pork and Rye," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 309-326, June.
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    More about this item


    Economic History; Industrialisation; Industrial Policy; Trade Policy; Protectionism;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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