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Late Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Factor-Price Convergence: Were Heckscher and Ohlin Right?

Kevin O'Rourke () and Jeffrey G. Williamson

The Journal of Economic History, 1994, vol. 54, issue 4, 892-916

Abstract: Due primarily to transport improvements, commodity prices in Britain and the United States tended to converge between 1870 and 1913. Heckscher and Ohlin, writing in 1919 and 1924, thought that these events should have contributed to factor-price convergence. It turns out that Heckscher and Ohlin were right: a significant share of the Anglo-American real-wage convergence was due to commodity-price convergence. It appears that this late nineteenth-century episode was the dramatic start of world-commodity and factor-market integration that continues today.

Date: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:54:y:1994:i:04:p:892-916_01