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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7641
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  1. 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.
  2. Douglas A. Irwin, 1997. "Higher Tariffs, Lower Revenues? Analyzing the Fiscal Aspects of the "Great Tariff Debate of 1888"," NBER Working Papers 6239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ronald Findlay, 1995. "Factor Proportions, Trade, and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061759, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  6. Krueger, Anne O., 1990. "Perspectives on Trade and Development," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226454900, June.
  7. 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".
  8. 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.
  9. Schmitz, Mark, 1981. "The elasticity of substitution in 19th-century manufacturing," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 290-303, July.
  10. 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.
  11. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "What's the Use of Factor Contents?," NBER Working Papers 5448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
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