Ohlin Versus Stolper-Samuelson?
30 Pages Posted: 17 May 2000 Last revised: 2 Apr 2001
Date Written: April 2000
This paper examines Bertil Ohlin's analysis of trade policy and factor rewards in the context of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century United States. A leading question of the day was whether labor could benefit from protection. Ohlin suspected that labor could benefit from protection and his writings helped spawn the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, which was different from but consistent with Ohlin's approach. This paper seeks to find evidence on whether U.S. tariffs on imported labor-intensive manufactures helped enhance the income of labor at the expense of capital and land. The answer is unclear: vastly different conclusions arise from a calibrated general equilibrium Ohlin-style model and a factor content of trade calculation indirect evidence from lobbying and voting patterns over the tariff are also ambiguous.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation