Walker Hanlon, New York University - Stern
Presenter: Walker Hanlon, NYU Stern
Paper Title: The Persistent Effect of Temporary Input Cost Advantages in Shipbuilding, 1850-1911
Abstract: Can temporary input cost advantages have a long-run impact on production patterns? I study this question in the context of shipbuilding from 1850-1911. While North America was the dominant wood shipbuilding region in the mid-19th century, the introduction of metal shipbuilding shifted the industry to Britain, where metal inputs were less expensive. After 1890, Britain’s input price advantages largely disappeared but its dominance of the industry remained. I show that American shipbuilders exposed to British competition struggled to transition to metal shipbuilding and present evidence that the mechanism behind Britain’s persistent lead was the development of pools of skilled workers.
The International Economics Seminar series is presented jointly with the Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Economics Department of Georgetown University.