When Britain turned inward: Protection and the shift towards Empire in interwar Britain

Feb 2017 | 152

Authors: Alan de Bromhead, Alan Fernihough, Markus Lampe


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.

JEL Codes: F13, F14, N74

Keywords: trade policy, interwar period

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