«La collecte du chiffre au xviiie siècle: Le Bureau de la Balance du Commerce et la production de données sur le commerce extérieur de la France», with Loïc Charles, Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, vol. 58, n°1, p. 128-155, 2011 https://doi.org/10.3917/rhmc.581.0128
We have handed in the scientific report to the ANR some time ago. Here it is (in French and English)
The retranscribed variable is « quantity_unit » (1,538 different values).
The file « Units_Normalisation_Orthographique.dta » establishes a correspondance between the variable « quantity_unit » and the variable « quantity_unit_ortho » (701 values). 210,000 observations have « livres » in « quantity_unit_ortho » and 160,000 have « unité manquante » (out of 510,000).
Simplification and single-key conversion
The file « Units_Normalisation_Métrique1 » establishes a correspondance between the variable « quantity_unit_ortho » and either
– 1. the variables « quantity_unit_ajustees » (simplifying the « quantity_unit_ortho »), « u_conv » (a metric unit of quantity) and « q_conv » (the number of u_conv in « quantity_unit_ortho »). e.g. « quantity_unit_orth » « douzaine de paires » has « douzaine de paires » as « quantity_unit_ajustees », « pièce » as u_conv and « 24 » as « q_conv ».
– 2. a variable « needs_more_details » which indicate that we cannot know the metric equivalent without using more variables.
Simplification and Multi-key conversion
The file « Units_Normalisation_Métrique2 » establishes a correspondance between :
exportsimports + pays_grouping + direction + marchandises_simplification + quantity_unit_ortho and « quantity_unit_ajustees » (simplifying the « quantity_unit_ortho »), « u_conv » (a metric unit of quantity) and « q_conv » (the number of u_conv in « quantity_unit_ortho »).
Here is the document created by Matthias Loise to document the first version of the datascape. It can be used as a guide to the second one.
Thanks to the hard work of Samuel Frémondière, Paul Girard, Alexis Jacomy, Guillaume Plique… there is now a new version of the datascape with a transformed design and many new features. You can access it here.
That is not the last iteration of the design of the datascape, but we hope you will appreciate how much on an improvement it is !
He then went and did a MSc in the London School of Economics where he produced a research paper on « Reinterpreting The Colonial Trade: France, Sugar and Dutch Disease ».
Here it is:
While Pierre Hollegien was an intern in the project, he wrote a research paper titled « Evolution of Medicinal Practices and Drugs Consumption ». Here it is :
Pierre Hollegien was an intern in the project from April to August 2015. Here is his internship report.
Attending members : Loïc Charles, Béatrice Dedinger, Guillaume Daudin, Paul Girard, Guillaume Plique, Elisa Tirindelli
SciencesPo has an extra 800 € that will be used to hire and additional day from Alexis Jacomy.
We discuss the transfer of money from INED to SciencesPo.
# Aggregation python script
There is now a documentation a documentation on github, but it needs to be completed (https://github.com/medialab/toflit18_data/blob/prod/scripts/README.md)
We discuss how the datascape has advanced. Alexis will still work on it and Guillaume and Loïc need to add a bit of documentation / texts.
We will continue this work in January 2018.
We discuss the new version of Ricardo
That was the last official TOFLIT18 meeting ! Thank you to all who contributed (and will continue contributing…)
Merci à Paul Chevret d’avoir fait la première version !
Loïc Charles, Paul Chevret, Béatrice Dedinger, Guillaume Daudin, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard.
#About the datascape
Pierre Gervais notices that the glossary is full of mistakes and promises to go and correct some of them at some point in the future.
#About the advancement of the project & Matlo
– We review Matlo’s work. They have done all the views, except classification.
– Many contents and classifications are still required before uploading the datascape.
– They still have 1/2 day work to do, but we will have to go further. We will use for that the 3,600 € left at SciencesPo before the end of the year, probably by hiring directly Alexis (the senior developer).
– Paul Girard: the beta version will open when the datascape is ready.
#Concerning the layout of datascape
– We spend a lot of time discussing the datascape and the final tweaks.
– The general layout is fixed and we do not discuss it.
– Many comments and critical remarks have been made on the subject and the list of issues in Github is growing.
– The « source » and « source_type » files have been merged. The files have been edited and corrected to be easier to use.
– The script generating the database have been corrected.
– Chili and Peru have been aded to the database.
– Ricardo will be presented at Boston by Béatrice
#Next (and last ?) meeting
December 19th 2017.
Remembre to register for the dinner on the same day by sending a mail to me. We will go to «La Boussole».
We welcome Paul Chevret, who will probably be the last intern of the project.
« Currently achieving my third year in international economics in Dauphine, I have some available time that I have decided to involve myself in a project that could give me some personal satisfaction and enhance my curriculum.
The Toflit18 project is compatible and coherent with my studies, but it also compatible with my interest for history and economics.
I hope this will allow me to discover the field of academic research and work alongside experienced people. I’m happy and excited to discover what will happen during these months at the laboratory.
He will work two days a week from November 1st till the end of December. He will be in charge of the transcription of data under the supervision of Guillaume Daudin and Loïc Charles. He will also be solicited by other researchers to complete various tasks (like the meeting reports).
Title : International trade and the economy, 1600-1870
Loïc Charles (Paris-8 and INED), Tamira Combrink (IISH), Anne Conchon (Paris-1), Guillaume Daudin (Dauphine), Béatrice Dedinger (SciencesPo), Christopher Gad (Sweden), Pierre Gervais (Paris-3), Paul Girard (SciencesPo), Henric Häggqvist (Uppsala), Pierre Hollegien (S&P Global Ratings), Alejandra Irigoin (LSE), Lionel Kesztenbaum (INED and PSE), Paul Maneuvrier-Hervieu (Caen and Rouen), Dominique Margairaz (Paris-I), Martina Miotto (Warwick), Nicholas O’Neill (Chicago), Guillaume Plique (SciencesPo), Zamil Said Abdallah (Paris-8), Timo Tiainen (Jyväskylä), Roger Vicquery (LSE)
October 19th 2017
9.30-10.20 : Roger H Vicquéry. (London School of Economics, UK) « The Currency Union Effect on Trade: Evidence from the Italian Unification and the Franc Germinal Bloc (1848-1876) »
That paper attempts to estimate the effect of monetary integration on international trade, first identified by Rose (2000)’s seminal paper, during the first globalization. It exploits as a quasi-experiment the process of the Italian unification, which saw a number of sovereign Italian states to be annexed by the Savoy monarchy between 1858 and 1870. Indeed, Italian political integration overlapped with two distinct processes of monetary integration. At the national level, the Italian Lira was introduced as the only legal tender starting in 1862. At the international level, a process of monetary integration around the French Franc Germinal had been ongoing since the Napoleonic conquest of Europe. Belgium and Piedmont both continued using a currency intrinsically equivalent to the French Franc after 1815. When the annexed Italian pre-unitary states adopted the Lira in 1862, they therefore joined at the same time a larger monetary bloc composed by Italy, France, Belgium and Switzerland. The bloc was formally acknowledged through the 1865 monetary convention which gave birth to what has been since known as the Latin Monetary Union.
The paper exploits those events within the differences-in-differences framework widely used in the “Rose effect” literature (Micco et al., 2003). In order to do so, it employs newly compiled archival data sources1. In particular, the paper provides for the first time international trade data for Italian regions post-unification. The paper would contribute to both the economics and economic history literature on a number of counts. First, the Italian unification represents a unique example of an exogenous monetary unification, driven by military events. This means that the paper’s estimate of the Rose effect are not be biased by the endogeneity problem which generally pervades the literature on currency union. Second, the paper’s estimate would distinguish between the effect of national and international monetary integration. Finally, the paper sheds lights on the effects of the Italian unification, and particularly the extension of the Northern tariff to the South, which is often said to have induced permanent damages to the Southern Italian economy (Daniele and Malanima, 2011). While it exists a debate in the literature on whether the extension of the Northern tariff damaged Southern trade (Felice, 2013) the paper not only provides a tentative quantification but also disentangles the tariff effect from the monetary unification one.
10.20-11.10 Alejandra Irigoin (London School of Economics, UK) « UK Standard Error: the problems for economic historians from (mis)taking silver as commodity money, 1718-1830»
As shown elsewhere for the case of 1800s China and the US (Irigoin 2009, 2013), silver in the form of the Spanish American peso enjoyed a price in different markets which was relatively independent of its intrinsic value. In other words silver had also a monetary value; this finding goes against economic historians of silver as commodity money. Revisiting an under researched high frequency series of the price of silver bullion and specie in Britain between 1718 and 1831, the paper first: estimates the premium – and its variation- that specie had over bullion in the London market and second, discusses the broad implications of using of silver grains as denominator for price and wages across economies performed with different monetary regimes. Thirdly and more importantly it also qualifies established interpretations about the economic development of the Atlantic economy during the Napoleonic Wars. The estimate shows that in the course of the 18th century the silver peso had a sizable premium over the mint price in Britain, and of around 20% in Asia. During the Restriction Period (1797-1821) the premium was extraordinarily high –higher even than that of gold bullion – nearing 30% in London market between 1808 and 1816. Whereas the causes of such appreciation in Britain have not been fully researched yet, the use of the silver peso/ dollar in the international economy – and the prevalence of different exchange rates in Asia, Britain and Latin America gave way to a substantial currency trade – yet to be analysed more systematically. In this light the paper explores the implications of such overvaluation of the silver peso exchange rate for the terms of trade of South American economies. and the particular growth of the exports to, and imports from, Britain which economic historians this far have explained solely on political grounds as the effects of (a misconstrued) free trade policies. The paper explores the effects in the expansion of commodity exports out of South America and of the boom of British textile exports to Brazil, Chile, the River Plate and Cuba in the period.
11.30-12.20 Martina Miotto (Warwick ,UK) « World Trade, Technology Diffusion and the Chronometer » (co-authors: A. Iaria and L. Pascali)
For centuries seafaring explorers and merchants struggled with the problem of measuring a ship’s longitude. The invention of the chronometer solved such problem opening a new era for the shipping industry. How did a mechanical time keeper improve navigation? What was the role of this innovation in triggering the nineteenth century trade boom? We isolate a causality channel exploiting the fact that the chronometer produced an asymmetric change in trade distances among countries. Before this invention longitude was determined observing the moon and the stars, but this method was impracticable with overcast skies. Using actual voyages data from the eighteenth and nineteenth century we find that, after 1835, ships speed and number of voyages passing through more cloudy routes increased compared to the previous period and to non cloudy routes, indicating that the mechanical time-keeper reduced shipping distances and times differently across countries and trade routes. Using this source of variation and new data on trade and shipping times for the period 1784-1856, we estimate a gravity model of country-pairs trade on travel times letting travel times coefficients change over time, and we assess that trade patterns are shaped by shipping times using lunar observations only till the 1830s, and by shipping times using the chronometer thereafter. Future developments of the project entails understanding the role of trade in the diffusion of new technologies and ideas.
Timo Tiainen (Jyväskylä, Finland) « Long-distance international trade from or to ports of Finland 1634–1853-some time-series analyses with French trade anatomized »
This paper provides time-series analyses of different variables of Finnish long-distance international trade covering time period of 1634-1853. The Sound Toll Registers give a great opportunity to have a full sample of all passages and cargoes from and to ports in Finland. They showed clear evidence of developments of both Finnish merchant shipping industry and international trade reflecting the overall underlying economic growth of Finland in this period. The growths in many variables can be regarded as segmented (trend-stationary) processes by estimating general linear segmented models with some break dates by ordinary and autoregressive least squares. The effects of breaks were predictable: 1) some negative effects of the Swedish Navigation Act of 1724, 2) the positive effects of 1765 after when more staple town rights were gradually given to new towns, and 3) accelerating trend growth after the Napoleonic Wars like economic theory suggests. Segmented trend models estimated asserted some evidence in some cases that shocks have been typically transitory except at small number of break points where the trends were shifted permanently.
14.50-15.40 Torsten Arnold (Viadrina, Germany) «Trade between the French and Portuguese Atlantic and Central Europe: A comparison of the bilateral socio-economic relations between Hamburg, France and Portugal during the last decades of the 18th century ». Co-author: Maria Cristina Moreira (Minho Portugal)
Europe within these commercial structures during the early modern period have been subject to quite an extensive historiographical production of macro and micro perspectives. However, most of the studies are rather situated within a ‘national’ English, French, Portuguese or Spanish framework than being of a comparative nature. This paper will analise the socio-economic relations between the French and Portuguese Atlantic and Hamburg, the latter being one of the major hubs for the Central European hinterland regions during the last decades of the 18th century. Based on statistical data from the French Chambre du Commerce and the Portuguese Junta do Comércio on the one hand and the Hamburg Admiralty Customs Records (Admiralitätszoll), this paper will demonstrate the historical development of the French and Portuguese sugar and cotton trade with Central Europe, one of the major consumer markets for colonial produce at that time.
16.00-17.30 Loïc Charles and Paul Girard, TOFLIT18 demo and hands-on session
Loïc Charles and Paul Girard showcased the TOFLIT18 “datascape” thanks to a hands-on session. New techniques developed in digital humanities allow researchers to widen their understanding of international trade through both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The hands-on session allowed participants to use web tools to explore the large TOFLIT18 database of French trade flows between 1714 and 1821 by product and partners to gain new insights on issues such as the economic life and representations of eighteenth-century French consumers, producers and administrators and how they were transformed throughout the century.
9.30-10.20 Henric Häggqvist (Uppsala, Sweden) «Taxed to Stagnation? Tariffs and Export Performance in Sweden and Denmark 1783–1853»
Tariffs on exports were a key component of mercantilist trade policies around Europe before industrialization. This paper sets out to measure their intensity as well as assess whether they had any direct impact on export growth. It does so by analyzing Denmark and Sweden between 1780 and 1860 which both covers the main period of existence of export tariffs as well as the kick-off of the “first era of globalization.”
The 1830s signaled changes to trade policy and the development of foreign trade in both Denmark and Sweden. Obstacles to trade were slowly being dismantled and both import and export grew as a result, particularly so from the 1840s. Duties on exports were lowered or even removed during the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s in both countries and real export growth started to pick up from roughly the same time. The paper shows that the decrease of export tariffs correlated with a growth in exports, although it did not impact all commodities equally.
The paper concludes that export tariffs were a retarding factor on foreign trade in pre-industrial Scandinavia, and possibly even retarding economic growth. The decrease and eventual removal of export taxes was by all accounts a trade-promoting move, even though it needs to be set against the possible impact of other factors such as the British liberalization of its import tariffs during the same period.
10.20-11.10 Béatrice Dedinger and Paul Girard (SciencesPo) « About the Ricardo Database)
11.30-12.20 Pierre Gervais and Guillaume Plique (Paris 3 & SciencesPo, France) Specialization, nomenclatures, and market power
For the first time ever, the database built by ANR TOFLIT enables one to track the nomenclatures used by public agents in their daily work controlling trade inflows and outflows. While not a perfect mirror of actual practices, these nomenclatures must have reflected to a certain extent the composition of trade flows in the main ports of entry and exit in and out of the French market. However, we argue here that making the jump from customs records to physical exchanges is possible only if a preliminary question is answered first: what connection if any existed between the structure of the nomenclature and of trade flows in one place? Trade theory posits that specialization is inversely correlated with the number of products traded in any one place, and such a conclusion seems self-evident. Eighteenth-century nomenclatures, however, operated in an environment in which there was little standardization of products, but rather a wide universe of product subsets and varieties, associated with highly complex scales of quality and prices. The hypothesis here is that specialization in one product would actually translate into the availability of a wider range of qualifiers corresponding to a wider range of varieties and qualities; in other words, specialization in such a universe would generate larger, not narrower, nomenclatures on any one product. Of course specialization would also lead to a smaller number of product categories, pushing nomenclatures in the opposite direction, towards simplification. The first goal of the paper will thus be to test empirically the relationship between specialization in wider product categories and complexification of the nomenclatures used to describe these categories, and to build at least a provisional view of the possible interaction between the two, so as to know where in the process of aggregation one can reasonably draw the line between products. If indeed more specialization means more complex nomenclatures, one could end up misreading a complexified nomenclature for a product, say cotton cloth in a variety of more qualitative names, as pointing to less specialization than on another market where cotton cloth is described under one name, even though this limited nomenclature actually translates less specialization in that product, not more. Testing a robust process whereby products can be clustered and compared thus becomes essential; and this raises the question of the relationship between local and national nomenclatures —are national categories built precisely for comparative purposes? Can we rely on them, especially to test for segmentation and specialization? The analysis of nomenclatures thus appears as a preliminary for any exploration of the twin questions of market specialization and market overlap.
14.00-14.50 Ulrich Pfister (Münster, Germany) « Foreign trade and the development of the German cotton industry, c.1730-1790 »
From the 1730s to about 1780 documented imports of cotton goods through Hamburg, Germany’s most important harbour, fell massively, whereas imports of raw cotton and dyestuffs increased. This suggests a pattern of import-substituting industrialization, as it took place in other parts of Europe around that time. Information derived from import statistics and ledgers of inland markets suggest that cotton processing expanded at an annual growth rate of 1.0 per cent, much slower than in Britain and France. According to English and Dutch export statistics German imports of dyestuffs and materials used in calico printing seem to have risen somewhat faster, though. This suggests that calico printing acted as an engine of growth for the entire cotton sector. Despite slow growth cotton manufacture expanded faster than the traditional textile branches, that is, linen and worsted production (around 0.7 per cent). Slow growth of domestic demand and a modest level of market integration appear as the main candidates to account for the relatively unspectacular performance of the German cotton sector in the 18th century compared to Britain and France.
14.50-15.40 Christopher Gad (Stockholm, Sweden) «Sweden Globalization and Stagnation? Analysis of a New Database on Foreign Trade in Sweden and Finland, 1738-1805». Co-author: Rodney Edvisson (Stokholm, Sweden)
This paper examines a newly constructed database on foreign trade of Sweden-Finland 1738-1805, consisting of more than 1000 types of goods. The traditional view as presented by Eli Heckscher is that the overseas trade of Sweden-Finland saw a trend of secular stagnation during the course of the eighteenth century. By contrast, we show that in conjunction with a substantial expansion of the population, total trade nearly increased twofold during the period of study. Despite that, there was a decrease of the value of exports in relation to GDP, mostly explained by a drop in the relative price of bar iron. The degree of specialization of Swedish exports saw a declining tendency in this period. While exports from Sweden had a higher degree of specialization than Finnish exports, imported goods to Finland were more concentrated than Swedish imports. Lastly, the composition of imports did not markedly alter, meaning that a consumer revolution did not take place in either Sweden or Finland.
16.00-16.50 Guillaume Daudin (Dauphine, France) « The Futility of Mercantilist Wars ». Co-author: Elisa Tirindelli
This paper analysis the long-run effect of war on French trade from 1716 to 1824. It starts by analyzing the specific case of trade between France and Hamburg and then compare it to the general case of all other France trading partners. In addition it breaks trade down by product and looks at the difference in impact on colonial and non-colonial goods. It finds a striking difference according to the different goods, with some European merchandises even benefiting from the war. Finally I check for the presence of lagged effects of and prewar effects. I find no clear evidence of either of them but to some extent, we can observe an increase in trade after the conflict rather than a sluggish reprise (apart from the post 1815 period). All in all, French trade seem to have been rather resilient to its rough handling by the Royal Navy before 1807.
# October 10th 2017 meeting
Attending : Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Guillaume Plique
# Plique & Gervais
They present their preliminary results. We debate them.
We discuss the first mock-up presented by Matlo. We are not very happy about them, and gather a number of suggestions.
We discuss how to go forward with them.
Paul is spending a lot of time and effort with them.
# New features
– We discuss a way to see the proportion of flows expressed in kg, liters, etc. in the Indicators view. Most people find it too difficult to explain.
– We discuss different sorting rules for the Metadata view : Mean % when present, total %, nbr of flows, nbr of year, alphabetical. Most believe we should implement them and offer the choice of which one to use.
– We should probably exclude from the datascape data before 1710 or after 1824
A very new version of Ricardo has been published. We discuss the unification of source names.
– We have issues with exporting the files out of the livedrive
– We are still in discussion with Florence to get her to go and gather new sources
– We are not hearing anything from the SciencesPo library.
# Next meeting
November 14th at the Médialab, 13 Rue de l’Université
# September 12th 2017 meeting
Attending : Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Paul Girard, Guillaume Plique
We are finishing the administrative papers.
# Guillaume Plique
Guillaume presented his work on the datascape. E.g. :
– Quantities are integrated in « indicators »
– One can know follow the evolution of the content of a classification (there is a discussion of the usefulness of that feature)
– The glossary has been integrated
– One can now filter networks by daughter classification
We discuss on the priority for the end of Guillaume’s work : permalinks or exports. We decide permalink are more important.
We have not heard from the SciencesPo library since July. We will recontact them.
# Checking retranscription
We are missing 1789 La Rochelle I & X
We are waiting for the Échelles du Levant
– Bibliothèque de l’Institut : we already had the data to be found there, but we know have better pictures.
– Narbonne: we have not managed to secure the pictures yet. We will ask Florence if she can do it with INED.
– The data from Elizabeth Cross is interesting, but not easy to integrate in the database.
– We might need to check in Dermigny / Haudrère / Weber for data on trade by the East Indies Company.
– We decide on including a one hour « hands on » session with Matlo. It will last an hour.
The latest version has new data.
Matlo will re-do the homepage and more documentation, allowing downloading of exchange rates and entity database
The Ricardo project will open a Github depository and an « hypothèses » blog.
# Next meetings
10/10 9.30 am
14/11 9.30 am
19/12 5pm closing meeting
19/12 8pm Closing dinner
«International trade and the economy, 1600-1870»
October 19th-20th 2017
Université Paris-Dauphine, Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 75016 Paris
ANR TOFLIT18, https://toflit18.hypotheses.org
External trade flows are the single macroeconomic data that early modern states have collected with the most care.