Alan Fernihough

Queen's Management School
Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
United Kingdom

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2018The Anatomy of a Trade Collapse: The UK, 1929-33
with Alan de Bromhead, Markus Lampe, Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke: w24252
A recent literature explores the nature and causes of the collapse in international trade during 2008 and 2009. The decline was particularly great for automobiles and industrial supplies; it occurred largely along the intensive margin; quantities fell by more than prices; and prices fell less for differentiated products. Do these stylised facts apply to trade collapses more generally? This paper uses detailed, commodity specific information on UK imports between 1929 and 1933, to see to what extent the trade collapses of the Great Depression and Great Recession resembled each other. It also compares the free trading trade collapse of 1929-31 with the protectionist collapse of 1931-3, to see to what extent protection, and gradual recovery from the Great Depression, mattered for UK trade pat...
February 2017When Britain turned inward: Protection and the shift towards Empire in Interwar Britain
with Alan de Bromhead, Markus Lampe, Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke: w23164
International trade became much less multilateral during the 1930s. Previous studies, looking at aggregate trade flows, have argued that discriminatory trade policies had comparatively little to do with this. Using highly disaggregated information on the UK’s imports and trade policies, we find that policy can explain the majority of Britain’s shift towards Imperial imports in the 1930s. Trade policy mattered, a lot.
January 2014Coal and the European Industrial Revolution
with Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke: w19802
We examine the importance of geographical proximity to coal as a factor underpinning comparative European economic development during the Industrial Revolution. Our analysis exploits geographical variation in city and coalfield locations, alongside temporal variation in the availability of coal-powered technologies, to quantify the effect of coal availability on historical city population sizes. Since we suspect that our coal measure could be endogenous, we use a geologically derived measure as an instrumental variable: proximity to rock strata from the Carboniferous era. Consistent with traditional historical accounts of the Industrial Revolution, we find that coal had a strong influence on city population size from 1800 onward. Counterfactual estimates of city population sizes indicate t...


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