Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Four great Asian trade collapses

Author(s): Alan de Bromhead, Alan Fernihough, Markus Lampe and Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke

Publication Date: April 2021

Keyword(s): Interwar economy, protection and Trade collapses

Programme Area(s): Economic History

Abstract: This paper introduces a new dataset of commodity-specific, bilateral import data for four large Asian economies in the interwar period: China, the Dutch East Indies, India, and Japan. It uses these data to describe the interwar trade collapses in the economies concerned. These resembled the post-2008 Great Trade Collapse in some respects but not in others: they occurred along the intensive margin, imports of cars were particularly badly affected, and imports of durable goods fell by more than those of non-durables, except in China and India which were rapidly industrializing. On the other hand the import declines were geographically imbalanced, while prices were more important than quantities in driving the overall collapse.

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Bibliographic Reference

de Bromhead, A, Fernihough, A, Lampe, M and O'Rourke, K. 2021. 'Four great Asian trade collapses'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.