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Two Great Trade Collapses: The Interwar Period & Great Recession Compared

Kevin O'Rourke ()

No 12286, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: In this paper, I offer some preliminary comparisons between the trade collapses of the Great Depression and Great Recession. The commodity composition of the two trade collapses was quite similar, but the latter collapse was much sharper due to the spread of manufacturing across the globe during the intervening period. The increasing importance of manufacturing also meant that the trade collapse was more geographically balanced in the later episode. Protectionism was much more severe during the 1930s than after 2008, and in the UK case at least helped to skew the direction of trade away from multilateralism and towards Empire. This had dangerous political consequences.

Keywords: Great Depression; great recession; protectionism; Trade collapse (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F13 F14 N70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-int
Date: 2017-09
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