The Anatomy of a Trade Collapse: The UK, 1929-33

35 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2018

See all articles by Alan de Bromhead

Alan de Bromhead

Queen's University Management School

Alan Fernihough

Queen's University Management School

Markus Lampe

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Kevin O'Rourke

University of Oxford

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Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

A recent literature explores the nature and causes of the collapse in international trade during 2008 and 2009. The decline was particularly great for automobiles and industrial supplies; it occurred largely along the intensive margin; quantities fell by more than prices; and prices fell less for differentiated products. Do these stylised facts apply to trade collapses more generally? This paper uses detailed, commodity specific information on UK imports between 1929 and 1933, to see to what extent the trade collapses of the Great Depression and Great Recession resembled each other. It also compares the free trading trade collapse of 1929-31 with the protectionist collapse of 1931-3, to see to what extent protection, and gradual recovery from the Great Depression, mattered for UK trade patterns.

Keywords: Great Depression; Great Recession; trade; protectionism

JEL Classification: F14, N74

Suggested Citation

de Bromhead, Alan and Fernihough, Alan and Lampe, Markus and O'Rourke, Kevin, The Anatomy of a Trade Collapse: The UK, 1929-33 (January 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12626, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3106830

Alan De Bromhead (Contact Author)

Queen's University Management School ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

Alan Fernihough

Queen's University Management School ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

Markus Lampe

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

Kevin O'Rourke

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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