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The European Grain Invasion, 1870–1913

Kevin O'Rourke ()

The Journal of Economic History, 1997, vol. 57, issue 4, 775-801

Abstract: The article quantifies the impact of cheap grain on the European economy in the late nineteenth century. Falling transport costs led to dramatic declines in Anglo-American grain price gaps, but price convergence was less impressive between the U.S. and other European economies, and within Europe. Cheaper grain meant lower rents throughout Europe, and protection boosted rents, but the magnitudes involved differed between countries. Similarly, cheap grain increased real wages in Britain, but lowered them elsewhere. The grain invasion implied different shocks across countries, and this partly explains the varying trade policies pursued in Europe during this period.

Date: 1997
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