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Did Germany exploit its small trading partners?: The nature of the German interwar and wartime trade policies revisited from the Swedish experiences
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History. (Uppsala Centre for Business History)
(Uppsala Centre for Business History)
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Economic History Review, ISSN 0358-5522, Vol. 56, no 3, 246-270 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, the conventional wisdom on German trade policies during the interwar and the wartime years are examined from the Swedish experience. The conventional view, represented by, for instance, Hirschman, Child and Ellis, is that Germany adopted exploitative trade policies during the 1930s. By forcing bilateral agreements onto its smaller trading partners, the bargaining power was biased towards Germany's advantage - that is, Germany gained the market position of a monopolist-monopsonist. According to the conventional view, this was reflected in the cash flows, export and import prices and the commodity structure of the trade. In this article, German trade policies are analyzed with respect to the design and practice of the Swedish-German bilateral exchange clearing agreement; the commodity structure of the trade; and the price trends in Swedish-German bilateral trade. In the analyses, no evidence was found that would suffice to confirm the conventional view on German trade policies. Instead, it seems more likely that the Germans aimed for long-term cooperation, as has been claimed by, for instance, Milward, Neal and Ritschl. This does not mean that German trade policies were not exploitative, but since bilateral arrangement leveled the asymmetric power relations, Germany could not make use of its relatively stronger position.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 56, no 3, 246-270 p.
Swedish trade policies, bilaterol exchange, Interwar period, Nazi Germany, World War Two
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-85665DOI: 10.1080/03585520802567184OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-85665DiVA: diva2:113799
Available from: 2008-11-26 Created: 2008-10-28 Last updated: 2008-11-26Bibliographically approved

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