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La distance abolie ? Critères et mesure de la mondialisation du commerce extérieur


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    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International)

  • Jean-François BRUN

    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International)

  • Jaime MELO DE

    (Université Genève)


We oppose two concepts of trade globalization : (1) the increase of the countries trade to GDP ratio ("globalization-integration"), (2) the alleviation of related to distance obstacles to trade ("geographical globalization"). We choose as a criterion of a possible geographical globalization the decrease of the absolute value of the (negative) distance elasticity of bilateral trade. The trend of this elasticity is estimated through a panel gravitation model of world trade covering the years 1962 to 1995 and a large sample of countries at very different levels of development. Contrary to the globalization-integration, a geographical globalization does not appear. We find a significative position trend of the absolute value of the distance elasticity of trade. Moreover trade between neighbour countries is increasing. So impact of distance has not been decreasing, but is reinforcing. An augmented gravitation model also allows to test significantly the assumptions of scale economies and of decreasing marginal costs of distance. This augmented model evidences again the increasing trend of the impact of distance on trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CERDI in its series Working Papers with number 199830.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in , 1999, pages 111-138
Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:98

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Cited by:
  1. Marcias, Manuel & Chevassus-Lozza, Emmanuelle & Latouche, Karine, 2011. "Trade and Transport Modes, A Differentiated Impact of Distance," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland, European Association of Agricultural Economists 114370, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Patrick Guillaumont, 2011. "EVI and its Use. Design of an Economic Vulnerability Index and its Use for International Development Policy," Working Papers, HAL halshs-00557091, HAL.
  3. Brun, Jean-François & Carrère, Céline & de Melo, Jaime & Guillaumont, Patrick, 2002. "Has Distance Died? Evidence from a Panel Gravity Model," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3500, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Xubei Luo, 2004. "The role of infrastructure investment location in China's western development," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 3345, The World Bank.
  5. Patrick Guillaumont, 2011. "An Economic Vulnerability Index: Its Design and Use for International Development Policy," Working Papers, HAL halshs-00554328, HAL.


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