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The Worldwide Economic Impact of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

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  • Kevin H. O'Rourke

Abstract

The paper provides a comparative history of the economic impact of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. By focussing on the relative price evidence, it is possible to show that the conflict had major economic effects around the world. Britain's control of the seas meant that it was much less affected than other nations, such as France and the United States. Explicit welfare calculations are provided for four countries, Britain, France, Sweden and the United States. Welfare losses were largest in the US, where they were of the order of 5-6% per annum; by contrast, they lay between 3-4% per annum in France, and between 1.7-1.8% per annum in Britain. On the other hand, the conflict helped pave the way for the more liberal international economic environment of the long 19th century.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2005. "The Worldwide Economic Impact of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars," NBER Working Papers 11344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11344
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    Cited by:

    1. Hasan Vergil & M. Erdem Ozgur, 2013. "American Growth and Napoleonic Wars," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(5), pages 649-666, September.
    2. David S. Jacks, 2010. "Foreign Wars, Domestic Markets: England, 1793-1815," NBER Working Papers 16236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kevin H.O'Rourke, 2006. "War and Welfare: Britain, France and the United States 1807-14," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp119, IIIS.
    4. Wolfgang Keller & Markus Lampe & Carol H. Shiue, 2020. "International Transactions: Real Trade and Factor Flows between 1700 and 1870," NBER Working Papers 26865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services

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