Closed Jaguar, Open Dragon: Comparing Tariffs in Latin America and Asia before World War II
Despite an enormous literature that has analyzed the comparative experiences of Latin America and Asia in post-World War II trade policy, almost no attention has been paid to the comparative experience prior to the wars. Even a cursory look at the best available empirical evidence reveals tremendous contrasts between the two regions. Latin America had the highest tariff barriers on earth before 1914; Asia had the lowest. Protected Latin America's belle ‚poque also boasted some of the most explosive growth performance on earth, while Asia registered some of the worst. What brought the two regions to the opposite ends of the tariff policy spectrum? And why are these quantum differences in economic performance so at odds with postwar conventional wisdom? We begin by describing a novel tariff database we have constructed from largely original sources. We explore the impact of colonial rule and unequal treaties' on Asian tariffs, as well as the impact of geography and political economy on Latin American tariffs. Limits to tariff policy autonomy explain one third of the vast difference between the two regions' tariffs before 1914; differences in the extent and structure of internal markets as well as the world tariff environment explain much of the rest. We conclude with an agenda for the future.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2002|
|Publication status:||published as Michael A. Clemens and Jeffrey G. Williamson (2011), “Why were Latin America’s tariffs so much higher than Asia’s before 1950?”, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, 30 (1): 12–39.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 1993. "Measuring the restrictiveness of trade policy," Working Papers 199307, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
- J Anderson & J.P. Neary, 1994. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of Trade Policy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0186, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Howe, Christopher, 1996. "The Origins of Japanese Trade Supremacy," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226354859, April.
- Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 2000. "GATT-think," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2000. "GATT-Think," NBER Working Papers 8005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Does Globalization Make the World More Unequal?," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 227-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Does Globalization Make the World More Unequal?," NBER Working Papers 8228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Anderson, James E, 1998. "Trade Restrictiveness Benchmarks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1111-1125, July.
- James Anderson, 1995. "Trade Restrictiveness Benchmarks," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 290., Boston College Department of Economics.
- John H. Coatsworth & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "The Roots of Latin American Protectionism: Looking Before the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 8999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brandt Loren, 1993. "Interwar Japanese Agriculture: Revisionist Views on the Impact of the Colonial Rice Policy and the Labor-Surplus Hypothesis," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 259-293, July.
- O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2002. "After Columbus: Explaining Europe'S Overseas Trade Boom, 1500 1800," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(02), pages 417-456, June.
- 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.
- Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Huber, J Richard, 1971. "Effect on Prices of Japan's Entry into World Commerce after 1858," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 614-628, May-June.
- Yasuba, Yasukichi, 1996. "Did Japan Ever Suffer From a Shortage of Natural Resources Before World War II?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 543-560, September.
- Taylor, Alan M., 1998. "On the Costs of Inward-Looking Development: Price Distortions, Growth, and Divergence in Latin America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 1-28, March.
- Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, July.
- Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)