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Faculty of Economics

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Lloyd, S.P. and Solomou, S.

The impact of the 1932 General Tariff: a difference-in-difference approach


pp. 1-20 (2019)

Abstract: We evaluate the effect of the 1932 British General Tariff on the output, labour productivity and employment growth of British industries. We provide a new disaggregated data set that matches industry-level Census of Production data with industry-specific tariff rates to accurately isolate treatment and control groups and estimate the effect of the General Tariff using difference-in-difference regressions. We evaluate a two-group comparison, between newly and non-newly protected industries, and a three-group comparison, between non-newly protected industries and newly protected industries further divided into those given a baseline 10% tariff rate and those given additional tariffs. In the two-group comparison, we identify a tariff effect that is large and statistically significant on output and productivity. In the three-group comparison, we show that the positive output and productivity effects of the tariff arise from the additional tariff protection, over and above the 10% level. These effects are observed over the periods 1930–1935 and 1930–1948, suggesting both short-run and medium-term effects on output and productivity of UK industries protected by the 1932 General Tariff.

Keywords: Trade policy, General Tariff, Difference-in-difference

JEL Codes: F13, N64

Author links: Solomos Solomou  

Publisher's Link:

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