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The revealed comparative advantages of late-Victorian Britain

Varian, Brian (2016) The revealed comparative advantages of late-Victorian Britain. Economic History working papers (239/2016). The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper calculates indicators of revealed comparative advantage (RCA) and revealed symmetric comparative advantage (RSCA) for 17 British manufacturing industries for the years 1880, 1890, and 1900. The resulting indicators show that the late-Victorian ‘workshop of the world’ was at a marked comparative disadvantage in a number of manufacturing industries. The paper then proceeds to identify the factor determinants of Britain’s manufacturing comparative advantages (disadvantages) using a fourfactor Heckscher-Ohlin model that relies upon these indicators. In contrast with previous scholarship, the manufacturing comparative advantages of late-Victorian Britain were in the relatively labour nonintensive industries, and this pattern became more pronounced throughout the period. The paper concludes with the observation that the factor determinants of Britain’s manufacturing comparative advantages appear closer to those of the United States than had traditionally been thought.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F11 - Neoclassical Models of Trade
N - Economic History > N6 - Manufacturing and Construction > N63 - Europe: Pre-1913
N - Economic History > N7 - Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services > N73 - Europe: Pre-1913
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 11 May 2016 14:49
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2019 23:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/66488

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