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Collateral Damage: Trade Disruption and the Economic Impact of War

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  • Alan M. Taylor
  • Reuven Glick

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

Conventional wisdom in economic history suggests that conflict between countries can be enormously disruptive of economic activity, especially international trade. Yet nothing is known empirically about these effects in large samples. We study the effects of war on bilateral trade for almost all countries with available data extending back to 1870. Using the gravity model, we estimate the contemporaneous and lagged effects of wars on the trade of belligerent nations and neutrals, controlling for other determinants of trade. We find large and persistent impacts of wars on trade, and hence on national and global economic welfare. A rough accounting indicates that such costs might be of the same order of magnitude as the """"direct"""" costs of war, such as lost human capital, as illustrated by case studies of World War I and World War II.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 515.

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Length: 54
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:05-15

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Keywords: trade;

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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Regional Trading Arrangements," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt5hf1z4rv, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Lopez-Cordova, J. Ernesto & Meissner, Chris, 2000. "Exchange-Rate Regimes and International Trade: Evidence from the Classical Gold Standard Era," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt1b04r034, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Oneal, John R. & Russett, Bruce, 2001. "Clear and Clean: The Fixed Effects of the Liberal Peace," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(02), pages 469-485, March.
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  1. Conflicts and Economic Development
    by Dany Jaimovich - Bakary Baludin in Development Therapy on 2013-03-04 14:32:00
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