The authors would like to thank helpful comments made on earlier versions of this paper by participants of the ‘Conference on Tariffs in History’ held in Madrid, May 2010, the APEBH Conference in Wellington, February 2010, and referees of this journal.
DID GOOD INSTITUTIONS PRODUCE GOOD TARIFFS? EVIDENCE FROM TARIFF PROTECTION IN COLONIAL VICTORIA
Article first published online: 23 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Australian Economic History Review© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand
Australian Economic History Review
Volume 52, Issue 2, pages 128–147, July 2012
How to Cite
WILSON, J. K. and SHANAHAN, M. P. (2012), DID GOOD INSTITUTIONS PRODUCE GOOD TARIFFS? EVIDENCE FROM TARIFF PROTECTION IN COLONIAL VICTORIA. Australian Economic History Review, 52: 128–147. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8446.2012.00346.x
- Issue published online: 23 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 23 JUL 2012
Were tariff rates in the Australian colony of Victoria directed towards growth-enhancing industries or rent seekers? Recent research suggests tariffs may be welfare enhancing if they are directed at industries with positive externalities; something more likely when institutions are strong. Using disaggregated tariff data for the years 1872, 1880, and 1890, we analyse the relationship between industry characteristics and tariffs, finding little evidence that Victorian industries with positive externalities received tariff protection. Our results throw doubt on good institutions necessarily producing good tariff outcomes and suggest the relationship between tariffs and growth is more complex than current studies assume.