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The Zollverein and the Formation of a Customs Union

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  • Florian Ploeckl

    () (Department of Economics and Nuffield College, University of Oxford)

Abstract

The Zollverein, the German customs union of 1834, was the institutional centrepiece of Germany’s economic unification. A bargaining model is applied to analyze the structure of its negotiation process and accession sequence. The existence of negative coalition externalities, the effect of a coalition on non-participants, led Prussia to choose sequential over multilateral negotiations. The nature of these externalities within the areas of financial revenues, trade policy and domestic political economy also explains the observed accession sequence. The choice of a customs union as institutional structure allowed Prussia to extract higher concessions from other states due to stronger coalition externalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Ploeckl, 2010. "The Zollverein and the Formation of a Customs Union," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _084, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_084
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/4430/ploeckl84.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roland Rieder, 2006. "Playing Dominoes in Europe: An Empirical Analysis of the Domino Theory for the EU, 1962-2004," IHEID Working Papers 11-2006, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Jun 2006.
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    3. Florian Ploeckl, 2008. "Borders, Market Size and Urban Growth, The Case of Saxon Towns and the Zollverein in the 19th Century," Working Papers 966, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    4. Baldwin, Richard, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," CEPR Discussion Papers 857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Negotiating free trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30, September.
    6. Nikolaus Wolf & Albrecht O. Ritschl, 2011. "Endogeneity of Currency Areas and Trade Blocs: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 291-312, May.
    7. Jan Luiten van Zanden & Arthur van Riel, 2004. "Introduction to The Strictures of Inheritance: The Dutch Economy in the Nineteenth Century," Introductory Chapters,in: The Strictures of Inheritance: The Dutch Economy in the Nineteenth Century Princeton University Press.
    8. Shiue, Carol H., 2005. "From political fragmentation towards a customs union: Border effects of the German Zollverein, 1815 to 1855," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 129-162, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric B. Schneider, 2014. "Prices and production: agricultural supply response in fourteenth-century England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(1), pages 66-91, February.
    2. Ploeckl, Florian, 2008. "Borders, Market Size and Urban Growth, The Case of Saxon Towns and the Zollverein in the 19th Century," Working Papers 55, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    3. Ploeckl, Florian, 2012. "Endowments and market access; the size of towns in historical perspective: Saxony, 1550–1834," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 607-618.
    4. Florian Ploeckl, 2010. "Borders, market access and urban growth; the case of Saxon towns and the Zollverein," Working Papers 2010/42, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Schneider, Eric B., 2013. "Real wages and the family: Adjusting real wages to changing demography in pre-modern England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 99-115.
    6. Florian Ploeckl, 2015. "The Zollverein and the Sequence of a Customs Union," School of Economics Working Papers 2015-02, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    7. Florian Ploeckl, 2017. "Towns (and villages): definitions and implications in a historical setting," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(2), pages 269-287, May.
    8. Florian Ploeckl, 2015. "It's all in the Mail: The Economic Geography of the German Empire," School of Economics Working Papers 2015-12, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    9. Feuerstein Switgard, 2013. "From the Zollverein to the Economics of Regionalism," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(3), pages 367-388, June.
    10. Ploeckl, Florian, 2013. "The internal impact of a customs union; Baden and the Zollverein," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 387-404.
    11. Florian Ploeckl, 2012. "Space, settlements, towns: the influence of geography and market access on settlement distribution and urbanization," Working Papers 2012/23, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    12. Huning, Thilo R. & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2016. "How England Unified Germany: Geography and the Rise of Prussia After 1815," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145725, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol Hua, 2013. "The Trade Impact of the Zollverein," CEPR Discussion Papers 9387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    N73; F13;

    JEL classification:

    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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