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Within US Trade and the Long Shadow of the American Secession

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  • Gabriel Felbermayr

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  • Jasmin Gröschl

Abstract

Using data from the US commodity flow surveys, we show that the historical Union-Confederacy border lowers contemporaneous trade between US states by about 16 percentrelative to trade flows within the former alliances. Amongst one million placebos, thereis no other constellation of state grouping that would yield a larger border effect. Thefinding is robust over different econometric models, treatment of the rest of the world,available survey waves, or levels of aggregation. Including contemporaneous controls,such as network, institutional or demographic variables, and Heckscher-Ohlin or Linderterms, lowers the estimate only slightly. Historical variables, such as the incidence ofslavery, do not explain the effect away. Adding US states unaffected by the Civil War,we argue that the friction is not merely reflecting unmeasured North-South differences.Finally, the estimated border effect is larger for differentiated than for homogeneousgoods, stressing the potential role for cultural factors and trust.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series Ifo Working Paper Series with number Ifo Working Paper No. 117.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_117

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Keywords: American Secession; border effect; intranational trade; gravity; US state levels;

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  1. Juan Carlos Hallak, 2010. "A Product-Quality View of the Linder Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 453-466, August.
  2. 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.
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  5. Oded Galor & Omar Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2006. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_001, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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  7. Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Lameli, Alfred & Südekum, Jens, 2012. "Dialects, cultural identity, and economic exchange," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 225-239.
  8. Cletus C. Coughlin & Dennis Novy, 2012. "Is the International Border Effect Larger than the Domestic Border Effect? Evidence from U.S. Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp1162, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  11. Claudia M. Buch & Farid Toubal, 2007. "Openness and Growth: The Long Shadow of the Berlin Wall," IAW Discussion Papers 31, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  12. Chen, Natalie, 2004. "Intra-national versus international trade in the European Union: why do national borders matter?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 93-118, May.
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  14. Alejandro Cunat & Marc J. Melitz, 2007. "Volatility, labor market flexibility, and the pattern of comparative advantage," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19714, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Volker Nitsch, 2000. "National borders and international trade: evidence from the European Union," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1091-1105, November.
  16. Daniel L. Millimet & Thomas Osang, 2007. "Do state borders matter for U.S. intranational trade? The role of history and internal migration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(1), pages 93-126, February.
  17. Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, 05.
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Cited by:
  1. Heid, Benedikt & Langer, Julian & Larch, Mario, 2012. "Income and democracy: Evidence from system GMM estimates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 166-169.

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