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Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective

  • Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke
  • Douglas A. Irwin

This paper provides a historical look at how the multilateral trading system has coped with the challenge of shocks and shifts.� By shocks we mean sudden jolts to the world economy in the form of financial crises and deep recessions, or wars and political conflicts.� By shifts we mean slow-moving, long-term changes in comparative advantage or shifts in the geopolitical equilibrium that force economies to undergo disruptive and potentially painful adjustments.� We conclude that most shocks (financial crises and regional wars) have had relatively little effect on the trade policy, but that shifts pose a greater challenge to the system of open, ultilateral trade.

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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/5469/irwinorourke92.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number Number 92.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:number-92
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  1. Markus Lampe, 2010. "Explaining nineteenth-century bilateralism: economic and political determinants of the Cobden-Chevalier network," Working Papers in Economic History wp10-06, Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales.
  2. Eichengreen, Barry & Irwin, Douglas A., 2010. "The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression: Who Succumbed and Why?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(04), pages 871-897, December.
  3. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Preface to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium
    [Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  4. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University) and Dani Rodrik (Harvard University), 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-11, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Maggi, G & Rodriguez-Clare, A, 1996. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Papers 180, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  6. Markus Lampe, 2009. "Effects of Bilateralism and the MFN Clause on International Trade – Evidence for the Cobden-Chevalier Network, (1860-1875)," CQE Working Papers 0209, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.
  7. Glick, Reuven & Taylor, Alan M., 2005. "Collateral Damage: Trade Disruption and the Economic Impact of War," CEPR Discussion Papers 5209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133, March.
  9. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Preface)," Trinity Economics Papers tep0107, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  10. O'Rourke, Kevin H., 1997. "The European Grain Invasion, 1870–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 775-801, December.
  11. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2000. "When Did Globalization Begin?," NBER Working Papers 7632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Scheve, Kenneth F. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "What determines individual trade-policy preferences?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-292, August.
  13. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Introduction to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium
    [Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  14. Lester, Simon, 2011. "The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy by Dani Rodrik New York: Norton, 2011," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 409-417, July.
  15. Chad P. Bown, 2011. "The Great Recession and Import Protection : The Role of Temporary Trade Barriers," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 16359, September.
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