Eli Heckscher, International Trade, and Economic History

Eli Heckscher, International Trade, and Economic History

Edited by Ronald Findlay, Rolf G H. Henriksson, Håkan Lindgren and Mats Lundahl

Leading international economists assess Eli Heckscher's contributions to economics and economic history, especially his efforts to bridge the gap between the two.





Leading international economists assess Eli Heckscher's contributions to economics and economic history, especially his efforts to bridge the gap between the two.

Eli Heckscher (1879-1952) is celebrated for his contributions to international trade theory, particularly the factor proportions theory of comparative advantage in international trade known as the Heckscher-Ohlin theory. His work in both economic theory and economic history is notable for combining theoretical insights with a profound knowledge of economic history and the history of economic thought. In this volume, leading international economists assess the importance of Heckscher's work and its relevance to the contemporary practice of economic history.

The contributors first discuss Heckscher's efforts to forge the discipline of economic history by combining both the historian's careful evaluation of sources and the economist's rigorous models. The Heckscher-Ohlin theory of factor proportions is described and tested empirically. Contributors then apply the theory to historical material, including Mediterranean trade in Biblical times, the economic effects of two periods of plague eight centuries apart, and tariff policy in 35 countries from 1870 to 1938. Heckscher's masterly work on mercantilism, the Continental Blockade, and Swedish economic history is also described and appraised in light of recent historical research.

ContributorsBenny Carlson, François Crouzet, Lance E. Davis, Stanley L. Engerman, Ronald Findlay, Harry Flam, Rolf G. H. Henriksson, Eva, Einar, Ivar, and Sten Heckscher, Douglas A. Irwin, Ronald W. Jones, Deepak Lal, Håkan Lindgren, Mats Lundahl, Lars Magnusson, Joel Mokyr, Mats Morell, Patrick O'Brien, Kevin H. O'Rourke, Bo Sandelin, Lennart Schön, Johan Söderberg, Peter Temin, Jeffrey G. Williamson


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262062510 560 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 18 illus.


Ronald Findlay

Ronald Findlay is Ragnar Nurkse Professor of Economics at Columbia University.

Rolf G H. Henriksson

Håkan Lindgren

Håkan Lindgren is Professor of Economic History and Director of the Institute for Research in Economic History at the Stockholm School of Economics

Mats Lundahl

Mats Lundahl is Professor of Development Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics.


  • This useful and stimulating book makes interesting reading for anyone who is interested in studying the historical development of economic theory and the birth of economic history. [...] Economists will enjoy reading this book, edited with affection and precision by scholars who are well-known in this field (R. Findlay, R.G.H. Henriksson, H. Lindgren and M. Lundahl), and will profit professionally from it.

    The Journal of European Economic History


  • A brilliant array of scholars in economics and economic history provide a panoramic view of the work of the great Eli Heckscher. It is compelling reading for specialists and aspirants in both fields.

    Donald R. Davis

    Professor and Chairman, Department of Economics, Columbia University

  • This book assembles a selection of scholarly analyses of the work of the great economic historian Eli Heckscher, famous for his classic book Mercantilism and for the Heckscher-Ohlin theory, known to every student of economics. Many of the excellent contributions assess his writings in light of later developments and theories.

    W. Max Corden

    Emeritus Professor of International Economics, The Johns Hopkins University