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The anatomy of a trade collapse: The UK, 1929-33

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Listed:
  • Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke
  • Alan de Bromhead
  • Alan Fernihough
  • Markus Lampe

Abstract

Abstract A recent literature explores the nature and causes of the collapse in international trade during 2008 and 2009. The decline was particularly great for automobiles and industrial supplies; it occurred largely along the intensive margin; quantities fell by more than prices; and prices fell less for differentiated products. Do these stylised facts apply to trade collapses more generally? This paper uses detailed, commodity specific information on UK imports between 1929 and 1933, to see to what extent the trade collapses of the Great Depression and Great Recession resembled each other. It also compares the free trading trade collapse of 1929-31 with the protectionist collapse of 1931-3, to see to what extent protection, and gradual recovery from the Great Depression, mattered for UK trade patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke & Alan de Bromhead & Alan Fernihough & Markus Lampe, 2018. "The anatomy of a trade collapse: The UK, 1929-33," Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers _160, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:esohwp:_160
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    File URL: https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/4582/160januaryde-bromhead-et-al.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrei A. Levchenko & Logan Lewis & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "The Collapse of International Trade During the 2008-2009 Crisis: In Search of the Smoking Gun," Working Papers 592, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    2. Andrei A Levchenko & Logan T Lewis & Linda L Tesar, 2010. "The Collapse of International Trade during the 2008–09 Crisis: In Search of the Smoking Gun," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 58(2), pages 214-253, December.
    3. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2017. "Two Great Trade Collapses: The Interwar Period & Great Recession Compared," NBER Working Papers 23825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jacks, David S. & Novy, Dennis, 2019. "Trade Blocs and Trade Wars during the Interwar Period," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1197, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:pal:imfecr:v:66:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1057_s41308-017-0046-0 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Great Depression; Great Recession; trade; protectionism;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • N74 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: 1913-

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