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Was Germany ever united?: evidence from intra- and international trade 1885-1933

Wolf, Nikolaus (2008) Was Germany ever united?: evidence from intra- and international trade 1885-1933. CEPDP, 870. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 9780853282778

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Abstract

This paper asks whether Germany was ever an economically integrated area. I explore the geography of trade costs in a new data set of about 40,000 observations on regional trade flows within and across the borders of Germany over the period 1885 – 1933. There are three key results. First, the German Empire before 1914 was a poorly integrated economy, both relative to integration across the borders of the German state and internally. Second, this internal fragmentation had its origins in administrative borders within Germany, in a geographical barrier that divided Germany roughly along natural trade routes into east and west, and in a considerable cultural heterogeneity within Germany prior to 1919. Third, internal integration improved along with external disintegration in the wake of the war, partly due to border changes along the lines of ethno-linguistic heterogeneity and again with the Great Depression. By the end of the Weimar Republic in 1933, Germany was reasonably well integrated.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2008 Nikolaus Wolf
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N13 - Europe: Pre-1913
F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F15 - Economic Integration
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N14 - Europe: 1913-
N - Economic History > N9 - Regional and Urban History > N90 - General, International, or Comparative
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 870
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2008 11:00
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19576/

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