Imperial preference: a quantitative analysis
Much has been written, and perhaps even more spoken aloud, on the subject of Imperial Preference. But the discussion has been to a large extent theoretical and political rather than quantitative. There have, it is true, been analyses of the changing pattern of Commonwealth trade after Ottawa. But the figures are not easy to interpret, since the changes recorded are by no means wholly the result of Imperial Preference. There has been little attempt to analyse in a systematic way the proportion of trade enjoying preference and the size of the preferential margins. Information on such matters would seem to be essential in any attempt to assess the changing importance of Imperial Preference in Commonwealth trade over the past twenty-five years, and the main object of the present study is to provide some of the relevant orders of magnitude. Some of the more detailed results obtained are also given in the hope that they may be of value in the study of particular problems, but these are in general subject to a wider margin of error. No attempt has been made here to relate the results obtained to changes in Commonwealth trade; that would require much further research.
KeywordsSummary Table Tariff Rate Trade Pattern Specific Duty Trade Return
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