Proposal preview

Agricultural efficiency in the great specialization

The story of the first era of globalization ca. 1870-1913 is also one of increased specialization by comparative advantage – a specialization which inspired the famous model by Eli Heckscher (1919) and Bertil Ohlin (1933). Of course economic actors at the time were unaware of this model, and even if they had been, the development literature has demonstrated that knowing what exactly to specialize in is a difficult challenge. It is therefore important for countries to undergo a process of what Dani Rodrik and Ricardo Hausmann have termed ‘self-discovery’, whereby they discover the product or products in which they have a comparative advantage. The aim of this session is to explore this issue with a particular focus on agriculture during the first globalization.


  • Markus Lampe, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria,,
  • Paul R Sharp, University of Southern Denmark,,

Session members

  • Alan Dye, Barnard College, Columbia University, United States,
  • Rajabrata Banerjee , University of South Australia,
  • Giovanni Federico , University of Pisa, Italy,
  • Jan C Greyling, Stellenbosch University, South Africa,
  • Laura Maravall, Universidad Carlos III Madrid, Spain,
  • Pablo Martinelli, Universidad Carlos III Madrid, Spain,
  • Vicente Pinilla , University of Zaragoza, Spain,
  • John Wilson, University of South Australia,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Francisco Beltran Tapia, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom,