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Pushing Wheat: Why Supply Mattered for the American Grain Invasion of Britain in the Nineteenth Century


  • Paul Sharp

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)


This paper documents the evolution of variables central to understanding the creation of an Atlantic Economy in wheat between the US and the UK in the nineteenth century. The cointegrated VAR model is then applied to the period 1838-1913 in order to find long-run relationships between these variables. The main result is that explanations for the expansion of trade based on falling barriers to trade need to be augmented by another factor: the expansion of US supply. This implies that the growth of the Atlantic Economy cannot wholly be attributed to the decline in transportation costs, as is usually considered to be the case.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Sharp, 2008. "Pushing Wheat: Why Supply Mattered for the American Grain Invasion of Britain in the Nineteenth Century," Discussion Papers 08-08, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0808

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
    2. G. Coenen & J.-L. Vega, 2001. "The demand for M3 in the euro area," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(6), pages 727-748.
    3. Johansen, Søren, 2010. "Some identification problems in the cointegrated vector autoregressive model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 158(2), pages 262-273, October.
    4. Bosker, E.M., 2006. "On the aggregation of eurozone data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 260-265, February.
    5. Mike Artis & Andreas Beyer, 2004. "Issues in Money Demand: The Case of Europe," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 717-736, November.
    6. Kongsted, Hans Christian, 2005. "Testing the nominal-to-real transformation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 205-225, February.
    7. Juselius, Katarina, 2006. "The Cointegrated VAR Model: Methodology and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199285679.
    8. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Sharp, 2008. "The Long American Grain Invasion of Britain: Market integration and the wheat trade between North America and Britain from the Eighteenth Century," Discussion Papers 08-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    grain invasion; wheat; globalization;

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services

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