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

Posted: 27 Jun 2000

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

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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: N61

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. Explorations in Economic History. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=154548

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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