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Insecurity and the Pattern of Trade: An Empirical Investigation

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  • James E. Anderson

    ()
    (Boston College)

  • Douglas Marcouiller, S.J.

    ()
    (Boston College)

Abstract

Corruption and imperfect contract enforcement dramatically reduce trade. This paper estimates the reduction, using a structural model of import demand in which transactions costs impose a price markup on traded goods. We find that inadequate institutions constrain trade far more than tariffs do. We also find that omitting indexes of institutional quality from the model leads to an underestimate of home bias. Using a broad sample of countries, we find that the traded goods expenditure share declines significantly as income per capita rises, other things equal. Cross-country variation in the effectiveness of institutions offers a simple explanation of the observed global pattern of trade, in which high-income, capital-abundant countries trade disproportionately with one another.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 418.

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Date of creation: 24 Feb 1999
Date of revision: 03 Aug 2000
Publication status: published in Review of Economics and Statistics, 2002, 84, 342-352.
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:418

Note: This paper was previously circulated under the title "Trade, Insecurity and Home Bias: an Empirical Investigation" as NBER WP 7000. This is a revised version of the NBER paper.
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Keywords: Corruption; Contractual insecurity;

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References

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  1. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," NBER Working Papers 6785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Markusen, James R, 1986. "Explaining the Volume of Trade: An Eclectic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1002-11, December.
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  4. Brunetti, Aymo & Kisunko, Gregory & Weder, Beatrice, 1997. "Institutional obstacles to doing business : region-by-region results from a worldwide survey of the private sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1759, The World Bank.
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  7. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-81, August.
  8. Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. "Why is Corruption So Much More Taxing Than Tax? Arbitrariness Kills," NBER Working Papers 6255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Anderson, James E. & Marcouiller, S.J. Douglas, 1997. "Trade and Security, I: Anarchy," Working Paper Series 477, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  11. Gould, David M, 1994. "Immigrant Links to the Home Country: Empirical Implications for U.S. Bilateral Trade Flows," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 302-16, May.
  12. Alan V. Deardorff, 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Working Papers 5377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Thursby, Jerry G & Thursby, Marie C, 1987. "Bilateral Trade Flows, the Linder Hypothesis, and Exchange Risk," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 488-95, August.
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  16. 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.
  17. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  18. Dani Rodrik, 2000. "How Far Will International Economic Integration Go?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 177-186, Winter.
  19. Robert C. Feenstra & James R. Markusen & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Using the gravity equation to differentiate among alternative theories of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 430-447, May.
  20. Anderson James E & Young Leslie, 2006. "Trade and Contract Enforcement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, November.
  21. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  22. Marcouiller, Douglas & Young, Leslie, 1995. "The Black Hole of Graft: The Predatory State and the Informal Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 630-46, June.
  23. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  24. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-46, June.
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