NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Foreigners Knocking on the Door: Trade in China During the Treaty Port Era

Wolfgang Keller, Javier Andres Santiago, Carol H. Shiue

NBER Working Paper No. 21886
Issued in January 2016, Revised in August 2016
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment

Uneven development within countries suggests that domestic trade frictions are important. Trade flows within a country, however, are rarely observed. We employ a new dataset on trade between fifteen Chinese treaty ports to examine the importance of domestic frictions around the year 1900. The distribution of welfare effects depends on each port's productivity and factor costs, China's economic geography as it influences trade costs, as well as the degree of regional diversity in production, which increases the potential gains from trade. We utilize this framework to quantify the size and distribution of welfare effects resulting from new technology and lower trade costs. Domestic trade frictions turn out to be substantial, far from the frictionless world that is commonly assumed. Moreover, geographic barriers loom large in shaping the welfare gains from technology improvements and trade cost reductions. We find, however, that an important explanation for why there was a limit to what could be gained through increased domes- tic trade was that the differences in productivity across regions of China in the 19th century were relatively low.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21886

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Feng, Li, and Swenson w21985 Trade Policy Uncertainty and Exports: Evidence from China’s WTO Accession
Barro w21872 Economic Growth and Convergence, Applied Especially to China
Autor, Dorn, and Hanson w21906 The China Shock: Learning from Labor Market Adjustment to Large Changes in Trade
Blanchard, Bown, and Johnson w21883 Global Supply Chains and Trade Policy
Chen, Ren, and Zha w21890 What We Learn from China's Rising Shadow Banking: Exploring the Nexus of Monetary Tightening and Banks' Role in Entrusted Lending
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us