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Tariffs and the Expansion of the American Pig Iron Industry, 1870-1940

  • Kanda Naknoi

This study quantifies dynamic learning effects behind the tariff wall in the American pig iron industry in 1870-1940. First, we present new datasets to argue that imported and domestic pig iron were close substitutes. Next, we provide evidence for dynamic learning effects. Finally, we use the estimated learning rate to simulate the hypothetical free trade regime starting in 1870. Despite substantial learning at the early stage of development, free trade would have wiped out the domestic industry by 1881. This would be caused by unfavorable shocks on demand, input costs and transport costs.

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Paper provided by Purdue University, Department of Economics in its series Purdue University Economics Working Papers with number 1214.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1214
Contact details of provider: Postal: Krannert Building, West Lafayette, IN 47907
Web page: http://www.krannert.purdue.edu/programs/phd

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  1. repec:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2008:i:02:p:335-360_00 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Mohammed, Saif I. Shah & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2004. "Freight rates and productivity gains in British tramp shipping 1869-1950," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 172-203, April.
  3. Head, Keith, 1994. "Infant industry protection in the steel rail industry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3-4), pages 141-165, November.
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  9. Harley, C.K., 1988. "Coal Exports And British Shipping, 1850-1913," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8807, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  10. Allen, Robert C., 1979. "International Competition in Iron and Steel, 1850–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(04), pages 911-937, December.
  11. Douglas A. Irwin, 2003. "Explaining America's Surge in Manufactured Exports, 1880-1913," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 364-376, May.
  12. David, Paul A & Wright, Gavin, 1997. "Increasing Returns and the Genesis of American Resource Abundance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 203-45, March.
  13. Fogel, Robert W & Engerman, Stanley L, 1969. "A Model for the Explanation of Industrial Expansion during the Nineteenth Century: With an Application to the American Iron Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(3), pages 306-28, May/June.
  14. Shiells, C.R. & Stern, R.M. & Deardorff, A.V., 1988. "Estimates Of The Elasticities Of Substitution Between Imports And Home Goods For The United States: Reply," Working Papers 235, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  15. Walter Isard, 1948. "Some Locational Factors in the Iron and Steel Industry since the Early Nineteenth Century," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 203.
  16. Harley, C. Knick, 2001. "The Antebellum Tariff: Different Products Or Competing Sources? A Comment On Irwin And Temin," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(03), pages 799-805, September.
  17. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "Increasing returns, imperfect markets, and trade theory," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 325-365 Elsevier.
  18. Irwin, Douglas A., 2000. "Could the United States Iron Industry Have Survived Free Trade after the Civil War?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 278-299, July.
  19. Berck, Peter, 1978. "Hard Driving and Efficiency: Iron Production in 1890," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(04), pages 879-900, December.
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