Mass Migration, Commodity Market Integration and Real Wage Convergence: The Late Nineteenth Century Atlantic Economy
As part of a process that has been at work since 1850, real wages among the current OECD countries converged during the late 19th century. The convergence was pronounced as that which we have seen in the post World War Il period. This paper uses computable general equilibrium models to isolate the sources of that economic convergence by assessing the relative performance of the two most important economies in the Old World and the New -- Britain and the USA. It turns out that between 1870 and 1910, the convergence forces that mattered were those that generated by commodity price convergence, stresses by Eli Heckscher and Bertil Ohlin, and mass migration, stressed by Knut Wicksell. It turns out that offsetting forces were contributing to late 19th century divergence, a finding consistent with economic historians' traditional attention to Britain's alleged failure and America's spectacular rise to industrial supremacy. The convergence forces, however, dominated for most of the period.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1993|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as T. Hatton and J. Williamson, (eds.), Migration and the Internationalal Labor Market 1850-1939, (Routledge 1994)|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kelley, Allen C, 1988. "Economic Consequences of Population Change in the Third World," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1685-1728, December.
- Paul M Romer, 1999.
"Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2232, David K. Levine.
- Kevin O'Rourke & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamsmn, 1996.
"Land, Labor and the Wage-Rental Ratio: Factor Price Convergence in the Late Nineteenth Century,"
NBER Historical Working Papers
0046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- O'Rourke, K. & Taylor, A.M. & Williamson, J.G., 1993. "Land, Labor and the Wage-Rental Ratio Factor Price Convergence in the Late Ninteenth Century," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1629, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Kevin H. O'Rourke & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1993. "Land, labor and the wage-rental ratio : factor price convergence in the late nineteenth century," Working Papers 199311, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
- DONALD N. McCLOSKEY, 1970. "Did Victorian Britain Fail?," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 23(3), pages 446-459, December.
- North, Douglass, 1958. "Ocean Freight Rates and Economic Development 1730-1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(04), pages 537-555, December.
- Borjas, George J, 1991. "Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Market: 1940-80," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 287-91, May.
- Knick Harley, C., 1980. "Transportation, the world wheat trade, and the Kuznets Cycle, 1850-1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 218-250, July.
- Harley, C. Knick, 1988.
"Ocean Freight Rates and Productivity, 1740–1913: The Primacy of Mechanical Invention Reaffirmed,"
The Journal of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 851-876, December.
- Harley, C.K., 1988. "Ocean Freight Rates And Productivity, 1740-1913: The Primacy Of Mechanical Invention Reaffirmed," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8802, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
- Wolff, Edward N, 1991. "Capital Formation and Productivity Convergence over the Long Term," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 565-79, June.
- J. Bradford De Long, .
"Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment,"
J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers
_129, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
- De Long, J Bradford, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1138-54, December.
- Crafts, N F R & Thomas, Mark, 1986.
"Comparative Advantage in UK Manufacturing Trade, 1910-1935,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 629-45, September.
- Crafts, Nicholas & Thomas, Stephen H, 1985. "Comparative Advantage in UK Manufacturing Trade, 1910-1935," CEPR Discussion Papers 83, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Greenwood, Michael J & McDowell, John M, 1986. "The Factor Market Consequences of U.S. Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 1738-72, December.
- Temin, Peter, 1966. "Labor Scarcity and the Problem of American Industrial Efficiency in the 1850's," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(03), pages 277-298, September.
- Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
- John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1.
- Kevin O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1992. "Were Heckscher and Ohlin Right? Putting the Factor-Price-Equalization Theorem Back into History," NBER Historical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wright, Gavin, 1990. "The Origins of American Industrial Success, 1879-1940," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 651-68, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0048. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.