Ohlin Versus Stolper-Samuelson?

30 Pages Posted: 17 May 2000 Last revised: 2 Apr 2001

See all articles by Douglas A. Irwin

Douglas A. Irwin

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

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

Irwin, Douglas A., Ohlin Versus Stolper-Samuelson? (April 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7641. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=228116

Douglas A. Irwin (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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