Between Conflicts and Commerce : The Impact of Institutions and Wars on Swedish-Portuguese Trade, 1686-1815
Eloranta, J., Moreira, M. C., & Karvonen, L. (2015). Between Conflicts and Commerce : The Impact of Institutions and Wars on Swedish-Portuguese Trade, 1686-1815. Journal of European Economic History, XLIV(3), 9-50. http://www.jeeh.it/?to_pdf=1
Published inJournal of European Economic History
© the Authors & Unicredit Group, 2015. This is an open access article published by Unicredit Group.
This paper is related to a multiyear project aimed at compiling new data on the early modern trade flows between smaller (or weaker) states. It presents a quantitative analysis of the nature and volume of trade between Sweden and Portugal during the period in question, seeking to identify long-run changes in these flows and to determine whether institutional changes and wars fundamentally altered the composition, trends, or volume of trade. First, it appears that trade between Portugal and Sweden hinged on only a few key commodities, most importantly iron from Sweden and salt from Portugal. In particular, we found that Portugal was somewhat more dependent on Swedish iron than Sweden was on Portuguese salt, since Sweden could also import the salt it needed from other regions. Second, we discovered that institutional arrangements and changes did affect Portuguese-Swedish trade, which they stabilized to some extent. Third, we argue that external shocks, mainly wars, had a slight negative effect on the bilateral trade, although some periods of war also offered new trading opportunities to non-belligerents. In general, the bilateral trade flows were fairly stable over this period and increased substantially during the 18th century. ...
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