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Cross-Cultural Trade and Internal Institutional Stability

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  • Belloc, Marianna
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    Abstract

    Traditional trade theory obtains that international integration always yields large potential welfare benefits, even in a static constant returns competitive economy. Such a result however can only be maintained in a world bereft of its institutional and cultural dimensions. In this paper we show that once institutional factors are introduced into the discussion, integration may be detrimental to welfare in the long-run. Exploiting a game theoretical approach, we consider the integration between two societies that only differ in their institutional structures. Two important results are derived. First we illustrate that intercommunity integration may entail the disruption of the pre-existent internal arrangements in at least one of the two societies. This is crucial especially because in our model institutional diversity is the only reason that makes intercommunity integration profitable. Second, in the presence of gains from internal cooperation, the collapse of the domestic institutional equilibrium leads to a loss of welfare for the community as a whole.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt1wj7v0sn.

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    Date of creation: 07 Jul 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt1wj7v0sn

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    Keywords: Contractual governance; institutional stability; institutional diversity; international trade; market development;

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    14. Rauch, J E & Casella, Alessandra, 2001. "Overcoming Informational Barriers to International Resource Allocation: Prices and Ties," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2k8626fr, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    15. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57, July.
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    17. Greif, Avner & Milgrom, Paul & Weingast, Barry R, 1994. "Coordination, Commitment, and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Guild," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 745-76, August.
    18. Woodruff, Christopher, 1998. "Contract enforcement and trade liberalization in Mexico's footwear industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 979-991, June.
    19. Schmitz, Hubert, 1999. "From ascribed to earned trust in exporting clusters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 139-150, June.
    20. Clay, Karen, 1997. "Trade without Law: Private-Order Institutions in Mexican California," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 202-31, April.
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