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International Competition in Iron and Steel, 1850-1913

Robert C. Allen
The Journal of Economic History
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Dec., 1979), pp. 911-937
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2120336
Page Count: 27
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International Competition in Iron and Steel, 1850-1913
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Abstract

This paper investigates the causes of Britain's relative decline as an iron and steel exporter in the late nineteenth century, and the concomitant emergence of Germany and the United States as successful exporters. Britain's mid-nineteenth-century dominance of export markets was due to its superior technical efficiency and low raw material costs, and to the high excess profits earned by the German iron industry. By 1913, however, Germany and America had surpassed Britain in productivity and had access to lower cost raw materials. As a result, German and American exports displaced British exports.

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