Duties on wheat were the mainstay of trade policy in Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century. This paper documents the changes in policy of seven wheat-importing countries of Western Europe and interprets them with a political support model. All these countries raised duties after the end of French wars to protect the dominating landed interests against falling world prices. Prices started to rise in the late 1820s and this rise accounted for long-run liberalization. Price movements may also explain the timing of some decisions, but many others depended on circumstances and on the wider political machinations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)