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Ohlin Versus Stolper-Samuelson?

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  • Douglas A. Irwin

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas A. Irwin, 2000. "Ohlin Versus Stolper-Samuelson?," NBER Working Papers 7641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7641
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Ronald Findlay, 1995. "Factor Proportions, Trade, and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061759, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-985, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Krueger, Anne O., 1990. "Perspectives on Trade and Development," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226454900.
    7. Wolfgang F. Stolper & Paul A. Samuelson, 1941. "Protection and Real Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 58-73.
    8. Jones, Ronald W. & Beladi, Hamid & Marjit, Sugata, 1999. "The three faces of factor intensities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 413-420, August.
    9. 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 961-999, October.
    10. Alan V. Deardorff, 1984. "An Exposition and Exploration of Krueger's Trade Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(4), pages 731-746, November.
    11. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "What's the Use of Factor Contents?," NBER Working Papers 5448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Schmitz, Mark, 1981. "The elasticity of substitution in 19th-century manufacturing," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 290-303, July.
    13. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2000. "Land, Labor and Globalization in the Pre-Industrial Third World," NBER Working Papers 7784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Daniel Ortega & Francisco Rodríguez, 2005. "Trade Policy and Factor Prices: An Empirical Strategy," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2005-004, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions

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