Stages of Diversification: France, 1836-1938

29 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2015 Last revised: 4 Jul 2021

See all articles by Stéphane Becuwe

Stéphane Becuwe

University of Bordeaux

Bertrand Blancheton

University of Bordeaux - Montesquieu University - Bordeaux IV

Christopher M. Meissner

University of California, Davis

Date Written: December 2015

Abstract

A large literature has documented an association between economic growth and export diversification. We study this question in France between 1836 and 1938. The period witnessed the onset of modern economic growth and sharp changes in the level of international competition. We use a new long term database on French foreign trade at a high level of disaggregation. At the dawn of the first Globalization, France appears to have specialized along Ricardian lines, exporting a handful of textile products in large quantities. There is a decrease in specialization from 1860 to World War I along the lines of modern studies. Changes in trade costs along with economic growth help explain the evolution of France’s comparative advantage. The decline of export concentration is associated with a chronic deficit in the balance of trade during the Belle Époque and the major part of the interwar period particularly after 1927.

Suggested Citation

Becuwe, Stéphane and Blancheton, Bertrand and Meissner, Christopher M., Stages of Diversification: France, 1836-1938 (December 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21777, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2700006

Stéphane Becuwe (Contact Author)

University of Bordeaux ( email )

Avenue Léon Duguit
Bordeaux, 33000
France

Bertrand Blancheton

University of Bordeaux - Montesquieu University - Bordeaux IV ( email )

33608 Pessac Cedex
France

Christopher M. Meissner

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Apt 153
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
6
Abstract Views
282
PlumX Metrics