American Growth and the Balance of Payments, 1820-1913: A Study of the Long Swing

By Jeffrey G. Williamson | Go to book overview

VI COMPARISON AND INTERACTIONS WITH THE BRITISH BALANCE OF PAYMENTS, 1820-1913

The Problem

There are two excellent justifications for including a brief examination of nineteenth-century British balance of payments (see Table B-19) with a more extensive investigation of domestic long swings and their effects upon the American balance of payments. Since there is preliminary evidence of a long swing in many British domestic series after 1870, especially in home investment,1 it seems fruitful to study British experience in order to throw further light upon the question of Kuznets cycles in internal development and their effect upon the international flow of goods, capital, and specie.

Realistically, we should anticipate different secular movements in the balance of payments of an important capital exporter from

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1
Cairncross, Matthews, Lewis and O'Leary, and Thomas, among others, have shown the most interest in the evidence of long swings, or Kuznets cycles, in British home and foreign investment.

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