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International trade and the economy, 1600-1870

This conference aims to take stock of methodological and data- related efforts of the TOFLIT18 projet to provide a fresh view of the contribution of international trade to the growth and development of national economies before and at the time of the first Industrial Revolution.

Event, Conference

Université Paris-Dauphine, Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 75016 Paris

External trade flows are the single macroeconomic data that early modern states have collected with the most care. The first attempts at measuring foreign trade can be dated from
the early seventeenth century. Later on, several Italian states, such as the Republics of Genoa and Venice, began to systematically collect customs data to create balances of trade. England and Ireland followed and, from 1696 on, they collected a continuous series of data flows and released a yearly evaluation of the English balance of trade. Several of the continental states, such as France, followed suit, and by the end of the eighteenth-century most of them produced more or less comprehensive balances of trade. A number of recent scientific events and publications have discussed the availability of these trade data (two conferences in Lille
in 2011 and in Paris in 2014). 

Last year, we organized a conference in Paris that explored the issue of classifying trade data in order to make them useful for economic analysis (Paris 2016). Our aim in this new conference is to take stock of these methodological and data-
related efforts to provide a fresh view of the contribution of international trade to the growth and development of national economies before and at the time of the first Industrial Revolution. Numerous papers will treat this question.
The TOFLIT18 team will also showcase its “datascape” thanks to a hands-on session. New techniques developed in digital humanities allow researchers to widen their understanding of
international trade through both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The hands-on session will allow participants to use web tools to explore the large TOFLIT18 database of French
trade flows between 1714 and 1821 by product and partners to gain new insights on issues such as the economic life and representations of eighteenth-century French consumers,
producers and administrators and how they were transformed throughout the century.

Participants will enjoy an exclusive access to the datascape before it is made public early next year.

Scientific Committee

Loïc Charles, Paul Cheney, Anne Conchon, Guillaume, Daudin, Paul Girard, Ragnhild Hutchison, Aidan Kane, Lionel Kesztenbaum, Silvia Marzagalli, Kevin O’Rourke, Werner Scheltjens, Jan Willem Veluwenkamp

Organizing Committee

Loïc Charles and Guillaume Daudin


October 19 th (Espace One, First floor)

Roger H Vicquéry. (London School of Economics, UK) « The Currency Union Effect on Trade: Evidence from the Italian Unification and the Franc Germinal Bloc (1848-1876) »

Alejandra Irigoin (London School of Economics, UK) « UK Standard Error: the problems for economic historians from (mis)taking silver as commodity money, 1718-1830»

Martina Miotto (Warwick ,UK) « World Trade, Technology Diffusion and the Chronometer » (co-authors: A. Iariaand L. Pascali)

Timo Tiainen (Jyväskylä, Finland) « Long-distance international trade from or to ports of Finland 1634–1853-some time-series analyses with French trade anatomized »

Torsten Arnold (Viadrina, Germany) «Trade between the French and Portuguese Atlantic and Central Europe: A comparison of the bilateral socio-economic relations between
Hamburg, France and Portugal during the last decades of the 18th century ». Co-author: Maria Cristina Moreira (Minho Portugal)

Loïc Charles and Paul Girard «TOFLIT18 demo and hands-on session »

October 20 th (Espace One, First floor)

Henric Häggqvist (Uppsala, Sweden) «Taxed to Stagnation? Tariffs and Export Performance in Sweden and Denmark 1783–1853 »

Ragnhild Hutchison (Institutt for arkeologi, konservering og historie, Norway) « Norwegian copper in a global market »

Pierre Gervais and Guillaume Plique (Paris 3 & SciencesPo, France) « Specialization, nomenclatures, and market power »

Ulrich Pfister (Münster, Germany) « Foreign trade and the development of the German cotton industry, c.1730-1790 »


Christopher Gad (Stockholm, Sweden) «Sweden Globalization and Stagnation? Analysis of a New Database on Foreign Trade in Sweden and Finland, 1738-1805». Co-author: Rodney Edvisson (Stokholm, Sweden)

Guillaume Daudin (Dauphine, France) « The Futility of Mercantilist Wars ». Co-author: Elisa Tirindelli

Discussion about funding (Maybe with Edith Buser et Gaëlle Decroix)


This event is open to all. It is funded by the ANR TOFLIT18

Inscriptions & information: Aurélie Cabit (aurelie.cabit@dauphine.fr) 01 72 60 52 30