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The World Trade Network

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  • Luca De Benedictis
  • Lucia Tajoli

Abstract

      This paper uses the tools of network analysis and graph theory to graphically and analytically represent the characteristics of world trade. The structure of the World Trade Network is compared over time, detecting and interpreting patterns of trade ties among countries. In particular, we assess whether the entrance of a number of new important players into the world trading system in recent years has changed the main characteristics of the existing structure of world trade, or whether the existing network was simply extended to a new group of countries. We also analyze whether the observed changes in international trade flow patterns are related to the multilateral or the regional liberalization policies. The results show that trade integration at the world level has been increasing but it is still far from being complete, with the exception of some areas, that there is a strong heterogeneity in the countries’ choice of partners, and that the WTO plays an important role in trade integration. The role of the extensive and the intensive margin of trade is also highlighted.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (08)
Pages: 1417-1454

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:34:y:2011:i:8:p:1417-1454

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  1. Gaulier, Guillaume & Zignago, Soledad, 2004. "Notes on BACI (analytical database of international trade). 1989-2002 version," MPRA Paper 32401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  10. Raja Kali & Javier Reyes, 2007. "The architecture of globalization: a network approach to international economic integration," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(4), pages 595-620, July.
  11. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  12. Sanjeev Goyal, 2007. "Introduction to Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks
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  13. Giorgio Fagiolo & Javier Reyes & Stefano Schiavo, 2007. "The Evolution of the World Trade Web," LEM Papers Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy 2007/17, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
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