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Were Trade and Factor Mobility Substitutes in History?

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  • William J. Collins
  • Kevin H. O'Rourke
  • Jeffrey Williamson

Abstract

Trade theorists have come to understand that their theory is ambiguous on the question: Are trade and factor flows substitutes? While this sounds like an open invitation for empirical research, hardly any serious econometric work has appeared in the literature. This paper uses history to fill the gap. It treats the experience of the Atlantic economy between 1870 and 1940 as panel data with almost seven hundred observations. When shorter run business cycles and long swings' are extracted from the panel data, substitutability is soundly rejected. When secular relationships are extracted over longer time periods and across trading partners, once again substitutability is soundly rejected. Finally, the paper explores immigration policy and finds that policy makers never behaved as if they viewed trade and immigration as substitutes.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Collins & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey Williamson, 1997. "Were Trade and Factor Mobility Substitutes in History?," NBER Working Papers 6059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6059
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1994. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of Trade Policy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 151-169, May.
    2. Ronald Findlay, 1995. "Factor Proportions, Trade, and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061759, March.
    3. Schmitz, Andrew & Helmberger, Peter, 1970. "Factor Mobility and International Trade: The Case of Complementarity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 761-767, September.
    4. J. Peter Neary, 1995. "Factor Mobility and International Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(s1), pages 4-23, November.
    5. Taylor, Alan M & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1994. "Capital Flows to the New World as an Intergenerational Transfer," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 348-371, April.
    6. O'Rourke, Kevin H., 1997. "Measuring protection: a cautionary tale," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 169-183, June.
    7. Markusen, James R., 1983. "Factor movements and commodity trade as complements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 341-356, May.
    8. Grubert, Harry & Mutti, John, 1991. "Taxes, Tariffs and Transfer Pricing in Multinational Corporate Decision Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 285-293, May.
    9. Ashley S. Timmer & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1996. "Racism, Xenophobia or Markets? The Political Economy of Immigration Policy Prior to the Thirties," NBER Working Papers 5867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Henry Thompson, 1985. "Complementarity in a Simple General Equilibrium Production Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(3), pages 616-621, August.
    11. Anthony J. Venables, 1997. "Trade Liberalisation and Factor Mobility: An Overview," CEP Discussion Papers dp0352, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    13. Corden, W Max & Neary, J Peter, 1982. "Booming Sector and De-Industrialisation in a Small Open Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 825-848, December.
    14. Kemp, Murray C. & Ohyama, Michihiro, 1978. "On the sharing of trade gains by resource-poor and resource-rich countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 93-115, February.
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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business

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