The Rise and Fall of World Trade, 1870-1939
42 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2002
Date Written: November 2002
Measured by the ratio of trade to output, the period 1870 1913 marked the birth of the first era of trade globalization and the period 1914 39 its death. What caused the boom and bust? We use an augmented gravity model to examine the gold standard, tariffs, and transport costs as determinants of trade. Until 1913 the rise of the gold standard and the fall in transport costs were the main trade-creating forces. As of 1929 the reversal was driven by higher transport costs. In the 1930s, the final collapse of the gold standard drove trade volumes even lower.
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