Beyond Brigden: Australia's Inter-War Manufacturing Tariffs, Real Wages and Economic Size

18 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2008

See all articles by Rod Tyers

Rod Tyers

Australian National University (ANU) - School of Economics; The University of Western Australia - Department of Economics

William Coleman

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce

Abstract

Pre-depression Australia maintained a protectionist regime directed at expanding the economy and accommodating immigration. The 1929 Brigden Report recognized that industrial protection would benefit workers and that it might also foster expansion. Although Brigden's wage thesis mirrors the subsequent Heckscher Ohlin Samuelson and specific factors models, it has more advanced elements than either. We demonstrate the comparative failings of the latter models and show that the Brigden thesis requires a model with mobile capital, differentiated products, a non-traded sector and a specific factor. This model suggests that protection might indeed have promoted immigration, capital inflow and overall economic expansion in Australia.

Suggested Citation

Tyers, Rod and Coleman, William, Beyond Brigden: Australia's Inter-War Manufacturing Tariffs, Real Wages and Economic Size. Economic Record, Vol. 84, Issue 264, pp. 50-67, March 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1106448 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2008.00446.x

Rod Tyers (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - School of Economics ( email )

Arndt Building
Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61-6-249-5124 (Fax)

The University of Western Australia - Department of Economics ( email )

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Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia
61 8 6488 5632 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.uwa.edu.au/school/staff-profiles?type=profile&dn=cn%3DRodney%20Tyers%2Cou%3DEcon

William Coleman

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

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