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Ethnic Networks, Information, and International Trade: Revisiting the Evidence

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  • Gabriel J. FELBERMAYR
  • Benjamin JUNG
  • Farid TOUBAL

Abstract

Co-ethnic networks foster trade by providing information about trading opportunities and taking advantage of mutual trust. While the economics literature usually focuses on direct ethnic links between source and host countries, sociological studies adopt a broader perspective. They emphasize the role of ethnic minorities as middlemen who organize trade between various regions in the world. Rauch and Trindade [2002] study those indirect links between ethnic Chinese in different host countries. We revisit their work, particularly focusing on the trade-cost channel. Moreover, we extend the analysis to all potential ethnic networks. Using new data on bilateral stocks of migrants from the World Bank for the year of 2000, we find that the trade creating potential of the Chinese network is dwarfed by other ethnic networks, e. g., the Polish, the Turkish, the Mexican, or the Pakistani networks. The large heterogeneity in the pro-trade effect of different networks is, among other things, explained by the share of high-skilled immigrants, the degree of ethnic fragmentation, and GDP per capita

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ENSAE in its journal Annals of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): (2010)
Issue (Month): 97-98 ()
Pages: 41-70

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Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2010:i:97-98:p:03

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  1. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  2. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
  3. Klein Paul & Ventura Gustavo J, 2007. "TFP Differences and the Aggregate Effects of Labor Mobility in the Long Run," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-38, May.
  4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  8. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  9. James A. Dunlevy, 2006. "The Influence of Corruption and Language on the Protrade Effect of Immigrants: Evidence from the American States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 182-186, February.
  10. Richard Baldwin & Daria Taglioni, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," NBER Working Papers 12516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Lafourcade, Miren & Mayer, Thierry, 2005. "The trade-creating effects of business and social networks: evidence from France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-29, May.
  12. Moses, Jonathon W. & Letnes, Bjorn, 2004. "The Economic Costs to International Labor Restrictions: Revisiting the Empirical Discussion," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1609-1626, October.
  13. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
  14. Parsons, Christopher R. & Skeldon, Ronald & Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2007. "Quantifying international migration : a database of bilateral migrant stocks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4165, The World Bank.
  15. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  16. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin, 2009. "The pro-trade effect of the brain drain: Sorting out confounding factors," Munich Reprints in Economics 20577, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  17. Wagner, Don & Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2002. "Immigration and the Trade of Provinces," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 507-25, December.
  18. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Toubal, Farid, 2012. "Revisiting the Trade-Migration Nexus: Evidence from New OECD Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 928-937.
  19. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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