In October 2018, Astrid Kander invited us to present at the Lund seminar of the Department of Economic History the first results of our exploration of the world trade web using the RICardo database. We aimed to analyze the geographical distribution of world trade in a historical perspective and were confronted with the extreme complexity of the RICardo trade matrix. Here is the working paper that was sent to the seminar participants.
RICardo World Trade Web, 1834-1938
RICardo is a project initiated at the beginning of the 21th century with the aim of constructing a database of bilateral trade covering all of the world’s countries over the nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Nearly fifteen years have passed before the first results of our work could be published. The final RICardo project includes a database (~300,000 data; 12.2017 version) and a website to explore the data. Contrary to the usual procedure, we did not try to publish a research paper before making our work available to the public. Given the time we have spent on this project, it was most important for us to publish our work as both a dataset and an exploration tool. We can now turn to the analytical part of the undertaking.