ACDE Trade & Development Seminars
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The impacts on Australia’s trade relations of the creation in 1901 of a customs union of the Australian states has yet to be extensively investigated. This paper serves a wider investigation of this topic by undertaking a key piece of groundwork: it prepares matrices of trade flows between each of the Australian states—and between each state and abroad—for each year from the late 1890s to 1910. A variety of normalisations of the matrix entries are conducted which assist in drawing inferences from the data. The relatively inductive method proves suggestive of a range of (consistent) hypotheses regarding the impact of Federation in fostering intra-Australian trade, and in inhibiting Australian international trade.