Factor price convergence in the late nineteenth century

Kevin H. O'Rourke, Alan M. Taylor, Jeffrey G. Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We examine a dramatic historical episode of factor price convergence in the late nineteenth century. Our focus is convergence between Old World and New, and the analysis centers on land and labor. Wage-rental ratios boomed in the Old World and collapsed in the New, moving the resource-rich, labor-scarce New World closer to the resource-scarce, labor-abundant Old World. We use econometrics and simulations to identify pro-convergence forces which include commodity price convergence, factor accumulation, and factor-saving biases. The results confirm that open-economy characteristics and international market integration are important sources of convergence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-530
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Economic Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

O'Rourke, K. H., Taylor, A. M., & Williamson, J. G. (1996). Factor price convergence in the late nineteenth century. International Economic Review, 37(3), 499-530. https://doi.org/10.2307/2527439