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Factor Price Convergence in the Late Nineteenth Century

Kevin O'Rourke (), Alan Taylor () and Jeffrey Williamson ()

International Economic Review, 1996, vol. 37, issue 3, 499-530

Abstract: The authors examine a dramatic historical episode of factor price convergence in the late nineteenth century. Their focus is convergence between Old World and New, and the analysis centers on land and labor. Wage-rental ratios boomed in the Old World and collapsed in the New, moving the resource-rich, labor-scarce New World closer to the resource-scarce, labor-abundant Old World. The authors use econometrics and simulations to identify proconvergence forces, which include commodity price convergence, factor accumulation, and factor-saving biases. The results confirm that open-economy characteristics and international market integration are important sources of convergence. Copyright 1996 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Date: 1996
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