There has recently been a flurry of interest in analysing trade policy regimes and their particular historical expressions among economists. This has been provoked in part by new developments in trade theory such as those based on the concepts of increasing returns and market structure, and in part by more awareness among the general public on development issues. For example a significant empirical study of the late nineteenth century concluded that a previously identified positive correlation between tariffs and growth was surprisingly robust (O’Rourke, 2000, p. 473). The previous study had concluded that: The reintroduction of protective tariffs (around 1880–1890) in the ‘less developed’ countries coincided in each case with a total reversal of the economic trends: growth accelerated and the pace of innovation and investment speeded up (Bairoch, 1972, p. 211).Hence protection was associated with high rates of economic growth at least for less developed states such as Germany and the USA in the period specified. This was in contrast to an identified negative correlation observed for much of the twentieth century, one predicted by the conventional neoclassical theory of free trade.
Barnett, V. (2004), "CATALYSING GROWTH?: MENDELEEV AND THE 1891 TARIFF", Samuels, W. (Ed.) A Research Annual (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 22 Part 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 123-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0743-4154(03)22004-6Download as .RIS
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