The Antebellum Tariff on Cotton Textiles Revisited

29 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2000

See all articles by Douglas A. Irwin

Douglas A. Irwin

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

Peter Temin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 20, 2000

Abstract

Recent research has suggested that the antebellum U.S. cotton textile industry would have been wiped out had it not received tariff protection. We reaffirm Taussig's judgment that the U.S. cotton textile industry was largely independent of the tariff by the 1830s. American and British producers specialized in quite different types of textile products that were poor substitutes for one another. The Walker tariff of 1846, for example, reduced the duties on cotton textiles from nearly 70 percent to 25 percent and imports soared as a result, but there was little change in domestic production. Using data from 1826 to 1860, we estimate the responsiveness of domestic production to fluctuations in import prices and conclude that the industry could have survived even if the tariff had been completely eliminated.

Keywords: International trade, tariff, U.S. History, cotton

JEL Classification: N71, F13

Suggested Citation

Irwin, Douglas A. and Temin, Peter, The Antebellum Tariff on Cotton Textiles Revisited (July 20, 2000). MIT Dept. of Economics Working Paper No. 00-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=242059 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.242059

Douglas A. Irwin

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

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Peter Temin (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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United States

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