The Antebellum U.S. Iron Industry: Domestic Production and Foreign Competition

44 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2007 Last revised: 26 Nov 2007

See all articles by Joseph H. Davis

Joseph H. Davis

The Vanguard Group

Douglas A. Irwin

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

This paper presents new annual estimates of U.S. production of pig iron and imports of pig iron products dating back to 1827. These estimates are used to assess the vulnerability of the antebellum iron industry to foreign competition and the role of the tariff in fostering the industry's early development. Domestic pig iron production is found to be highly sensitive to changes in import prices. Although import price fluctuations had a much greater impact on U.S. production than changes in import duties, our estimates suggest that the tariff permitted domestic output to be about thirty to forty percent larger than it would have been without protection.

Suggested Citation

Davis, Joseph H. and Irwin, Douglas A., The Antebellum U.S. Iron Industry: Domestic Production and Foreign Competition (September 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13451. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1017774

Joseph H. Davis (Contact Author)

The Vanguard Group ( email )

100 Vanguard Blvd
Malvern, PA 19355
United States

Douglas A. Irwin

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2942 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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