The anatomy of a trade collapse: The UK, 1929-1933

Alan De Bromhead, Alan Fernihough, Markus Lampe, Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A recent literature explores the nature and causes of the 2008-2009 collapse in international trade. The decline was particularly great for automobiles and industrial supplies; it occurred largely along the intensive margin; quantities fell by more than prices; and prices fell less for differentiated products. Do these "stylized facts" hold for all trade collapses? This paper uses detailed, commodity-specific information on UK imports between 1929 and 1933 to compare the Great Depression and the Great Recession. It also compares the free trading collapse of 1929-1931 with the protectionist collapse of 1931-1933, to examine the relative importance of protection for the UK trade patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-144
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Review of Economic History
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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