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Lessons in Lobbying for Free Trade in 19th-Century Britain: To Concentrate or Not

Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 85, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 37-58
DOI: 10.2307/1962877
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1962877
Page Count: 22
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Lessons in Lobbying for Free Trade in 19th-Century Britain: To Concentrate or Not
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Abstract

I present a modified version of the public choice interest group model that integrates concentrated and deconcentrated interests with successful lobbying. It is argued that effective free trade lobbying required the political fusion of the economic interests representing two fundamental changes in nineteenth-century Britain's economy: (1) geographic concentration of the core export industry (cotton textiles) and (2) deconcentration of the broader export sector both geographically and in terms of industrial structure. Empirical evidence from both national and individual levels firmly supports the contention that the timing and political success of Britain's nineteenth-century free trade lobby required the combined forces of core export interests and the more diverse and geographically more evenly distributed interests of the export sector as a whole.

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