Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Göteborg Papers in Economic History,
University of Gothenburg, Unit for Economic History

No 1: Tariff protection in Sweden 1885–1914

Jan Bohlin ()
Additional contact information
Jan Bohlin: Department of Economic History, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University, Postal: Box 720, SE 40530 Göteborg, Sweden

Abstract: This paper presents disaggregated estimates of nominal and effective rates of tariff protection for Sweden 1885–1914. In a methodological part of the article I argue that the proper way to measure tariff protection is an output weighted average of tariff rates for a representative sample of commodities. In the empirical part of the paper, I show that Swedish tariff protection increased substantially in the period even though tariff income as a proportion of total imports decreased slightly. This seeming contradiction is explained by the restructuring of Swedish imports that took place in the period under review; the share in imports of highly protected consumer goods declined while the share of capital goods with lower protection rates and duty free raw materials and input goods increased. The result stands in contradiction to some recent views expressed in the international literature.

Keywords: Economic History; Industrialisation; Industrial Policy; Trade Policy; Protectionism

JEL-codes: F13; N43

33 pages, May 3, 2005

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