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Trade and the Great Depression in a Long Run Perspective

Objective

What are the lessons of the Great Depression for policy makers today, and what can we learn about the causes of such major economic crises by comparing the two events? This project will create a Two Depressions database and carry out associated research, which will provide a comprehensive and explicitly comparative statistical overview of the crises of 1929 and 2008. It will also explore the short and longer run inter-relationships between the Great Depression, trade, and trade policy. The economic literature on the Great Depression has focussed on the macroeconomic policies which led to it, with trade being relegated to a minor role in most accounts. We thus know remarkably little about commodity market disintegration during the period; about the causes of the slump in trade, and the role of protectionism; and about the consequences of interwar protection for employment and growth in the short and long run. This project will explore the short run inter-relationships between output and employment, trade, and trade policy during the Depression. It will also place the event in the longer run context of the gradual spread of industry from the European and North American core to the European periphery and the rest of the world. Did the Depression permanently change the nature of development in peripheral economies, or merely hasten (or retard) trends already underway? The project will collect data on inter alia trade, trade policy, industrial output, macroeconomic variables, and prices, for 1920-1973. The trade and trade policy data will be sectorally disaggregated, allowing a finer-grained assessment of the role of policy. The data will be analysed using standard economic techniques, but since the political and geopolitical consequences of such events are crucial in the long run, a more qualitative historical analysis will also be provided.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /humanities/languages and literature/literature - general
  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/employment

Call for proposal

ERC-2009-AdG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 863 404,12
Principal investigator
Kevin Hjortshøj O'rourke (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Stephen Conway (Dr.)

Beneficiaries (2)

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 863 404,12
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Kevin Hjortshøj O'rourke (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Stephen Conway (Dr.)
THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 544 611,28
Address
College Green
2 Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Deirdre Savage (Ms.)