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Ohlin Versus Stolper-Samuelson?

  • Douglas A. Irwin

This paper examines Bertil Ohlin's analysis of trade policy and factor rewards in the context of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century United States. A leading question of the day was whether labor could benefit from protection. Ohlin suspected that labor could benefit from protection and his writings helped spawn the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, which was different from but consistent with Ohlin's approach. This paper seeks to find evidence on whether U.S. tariffs on imported labor-intensive manufactures helped enhance the income of labor at the expense of capital and land. The answer is unclear: vastly different conclusions arise from a calibrated general equilibrium Ohlin-style model and a factor content of trade calculation indirect evidence from lobbying and voting patterns over the tariff are also ambiguous.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7641.

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Date of creation: Apr 2000
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7641
Note: DAE ITI
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  1. Irwin, Douglas A., 1998. "Higher Tariffs, Lower Revenues? Analyzing the Fiscal Aspects of “The Great Tariff Debate of 1888”," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 59-72, March.
  2. Douglas A. Irwin, 2000. "How Did the United States Become a Net Exporter of Manufactured Goods?," NBER Working Papers 7638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "What's the Use of Factor Contents?," NBER Working Papers 5448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Beladi, Hamid & Jones, Ronald Winthrop & Marjit, Sugata, 1995. "The three faces of factor intensities," Discussion Papers, Series II 273, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  5. Schmitz, Mark, 1981. "The elasticity of substitution in 19th-century manufacturing," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 290-303, July.
  6. Ronald Findlay, 1995. "Factor Proportions, Trade, and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061759, June.
  7. Mussa, Michael, 1979. "The two-sector model in terms of its dual : A geometric exposition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 513-526, November.
  8. Krueger, Anne O., 1990. "Perspectives on Trade and Development," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226454900.
  9. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  10. Leamer, Edward E, 1987. "Paths of Development in the Three-Factor, n-Good General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 961-99, October.
  11. Findlay, Ronald, 1974. "Relative Prices, Growth and Trade in a Simple Ricardian System," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 41(161), pages 1-13, February.
  12. Alan V. Deardorff, 1984. "An Exposition and Exploration of Krueger's Trade Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(4), pages 731-46, November.
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