Economics at your fingertips  

Geography, policy, or productivity? Regional trade in five South American countries, 1910–50

Marc Badia†Miró, Anna Carreras†Marín and Christopher Meissner ()

Economic History Review, 2018, vol. 71, issue 1, 236-266

Abstract: Regional trade in South America since independence has long been much smaller than would be expected if geography were the only constraint on trade. Several potential explanations exist, including low technological and demand complementarities; low productivity; and high natural and policy barriers to trade. Focusing on the latter explanations, policy makers have long advocated a South American/Southern Cone Free Trade Area—proposed as early as 1889. Would reductions in trade costs have been sufficient to raise trade significantly, or was trade low for other reasons? We study bilateral trade between 1910 and 1950, when large external shocks altered global supply and demand. These shocks help us show that intra†regional trade could have been boosted by reductions in trade costs. Trade among Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru could have benefited from more benign trade policies or better infrastructure. Regional trade in textiles, which took off from the 1930s, supports our argument that trade improved when trade costs fell.

Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... bs.asp?ref=0013-0117

Access Statistics for this article

Economic History Review is currently edited by Stephen Broadberry

More articles in Economic History Review from Economic History Society Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

Page updated 2019-10-14
Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:71:y:2018:i:1:p:236-266