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We study the effects of domestic conflict and external shocks on Spanish trade policy in the interwar period. Our account mobilizes a new granular dataset on exports and imports, and good-country level information on tariffs, trade agreements, and quotas. Into the Depression, the mainstay of policy was the tariff. The establishment of the Second Republic in 1931 was a turning point in policymaking. The new regime initiated bilateral trade negotiations. The Republic’s dilemma was to find countries willing to exchange market access. In a daunting international environment, the Spanish case offers a poignant reminder of the perils of going against the grain.
Belle Époque Belgium recorded an unprecedented trade boom. Exploiting a new granular trade dataset, we find that the number of products delivered abroad and destinations serviced more than doubled in less than 40 years. To explain this remarkable achievement, we study the relationship between trade costs and the intensive and extensive margins of trade. The establishment of a foreign diplomatic network that lowered beachhead costs and enabled the entry of new products was an essential fact of the trade boom. Interestingly, the expansion in trade in certain sectors did not translate into faster productivity growth. We offer some explanations.
This chapter first examines the literature on law and the rise and spread of capitalism, and shows that much of it pays substantial attention to the unique features of each of the two European traditions, and to the different role played by each in enhancing capitalism. Max Weber was among the first to attribute a significant role to the law in the rise of capitalism. Next, the chapter surveys the development of the law in the core capitalist countries, in four fields of law that are postulated by economic theory as crucial for economic growth: the concept of freedom of contract, the establishment of land registries, patent law, and the formation of business corporations. Before the rise of capitalism, Western European states encouraged technological innovations in two ways, monetary payments and grants of monopoly. Finally, the chapter traces the spread of European capitalist law in these four fields to the rest of the world.
The received view pins the adoption of labor regulation before 1914 on domestic forces. Using directed dyad-year event history analysis, we find that trade was also a pathway of diffusion. Market access served as an important instrument to encourage the diffusion of labor regulation. The type of trade mattered as much as the volume. In the European core, states emulated the labor regulation of partners because intra-industry trade was important. The New World exported less differentiated products and pressures to imitate were weak.
This article constructs new measures of worktime for Europe, North America, and Australia, 1870–1913. Great Britain began with the shortest work year and Belgium the longest. By 1913 certain continental countries approached British worktimes, and, consistent with recent findings on real wages, annual hours in Old and New Worlds had converged. Although globalization did not lead to a race to the bottom of worktimes, there is only partial evidence of a race to the top. National work routines, the outcome of different legal, labor, and political histories, mediated relations between hours and income.
Globalisation was a fact of life in Europe before 1913, but as trade shares increased, so did wage and employment instability. Faced by growing pressure from workers, national authorities established labour compacts – a packet of labour market regulations and social insurance programmes – that defended workers against the risks they faced in and outside the factory. The labour compact provided workers with insurance because it compressed wage structures. We construct an index of labour market regulations and social insurance schemes for seventeen European countries and find that the extent of the labour compact varied with the level of openness. We conclude that the labour compact gave workers reason to support free trade because it protected them from external risk. Contrary to the received view, globalisation before 1913 was compatible with state intervention. Our findings are consistent with Rodrik's and Agell's for the period after 1945.
The point of departure of this book is the assertion that recent scholarship has treated the British cotton-textile industry unfairly because of the strong tendency to situate the industry in the U.S. blueprint of development. The result, Mary Rose believes, has led to some misunderstanding of the rise and decline of the British industry. Rose reverses the standard approach and views the development of U.S. industry through British lenses.