A Theoretical Basis for 19th Century Changes to the Port of New York Imported Goods Auction

University of Illinois, Bureau of Economics & Business Research Working Paper No. 98-0119

Posted: 4 Mar 1999

See all articles by Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans

Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration

Tomas Nonnenmacher

Allegheny College - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 1998

Abstract

The completion of the Erie Canal traditionally receives primary credit for the rapid growth of trade through the Port of New York relative to other East Coast ports. This credit ignores the dramatic increase in imports through New York prior to the completion of the canal. We examine an alternate explanation for this earlier growth. Specifically, in 1817, the New York legislature changed the law regarding auctions of imports. In developing a theory to demonstrate the benefits of the new auction design, we give credence to the claims that the change in the auction law contributed to New York?s rapid growth.

JEL Classification: N71

Suggested Citation

Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard and Nonnenmacher, Tomas W., A Theoretical Basis for 19th Century Changes to the Port of New York Imported Goods Auction (November 1998). University of Illinois, Bureau of Economics & Business Research Working Paper No. 98-0119. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=150599

Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration ( email )

1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-333-1028 (Phone)

Tomas W. Nonnenmacher

Allegheny College - Department of Economics ( email )

520 N. Main Street
Meadville, PA 16335
United States
(814) 332-3820 (Phone)

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