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Make trade not war ?

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Author Info

  • Martin, Philippe
  • Mayer, Thierry
  • Thoenig, Mathias

Abstract

This paper analyses theoretically and empirically the relationship between trade and war. We show that the intuition that trade promotes peace is only partially true even in a model where trade is beneficial to all, war reduces trade and leaders take into account the costs of war. When war can occur because of the presence of asymmetric information, the probability of escalation is indeed lower for countries that trade more bilaterally because of the opportunity cost associated with the loss of trade gains. However, countries more open to global trade have a higher probability of war because multilateral trade openness decreases bilateral dependence to any given country. Using a theoretically-based econometric model, we test our predictions on a large dataset of military conflicts in the period 1948-2001. We find strong evidence for the contrasting effects of bilateral and multilateral trade. Our empirical results also confirm our theoretical prediction that multilateral trade openness increases more the probability of war between proximate countries. This may explain why military conflicts have become more localized and less global over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) with number 0515.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:0515

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Keywords: globalization; trade and war;

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References

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  1. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2005. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," CEPR Discussion Papers 5122, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Izquierdo, Alejandro & Morisset, Jacques & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2003. "Information diffusion in international markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3032, The World Bank.
  3. Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2004. "It Takes Two: An Explanation for the Democratic Peace," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-29, 03.
  4. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  5. Hess, Gregory D & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1995. "War Politics: An Economic, Rational-Voter Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 828-46, September.
  6. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 1990. "Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: 2nd Edition," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 82.
  7. Herschel I. Grossman, 2013. "Choosing Between Peace and War," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 765-783, November.
  8. Enrico Spolaore & Alberto Alesina, 2001. "War, Peace and the Size of Countries," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1937, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really KNow that the WTO Increases Trade?," Working Papers 182002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  10. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 1999. "War and Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 201, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-57, November.
  13. Garfinkel, Michelle R, 1994. "Domestic Politics and International Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1294-1309, December.
  14. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 10480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Rose, Andrew K, 2003. "Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Gregory D. Hess, 2002. "The Economic Welfare Cost of Conflict: An Empirical Assessment," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-08, Claremont Colleges.
  17. Baldwin, R E & Murray, Tracy, 1977. "MFN Tariff Reductions and Developing Country Trade Benefits under the GSP," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 30-46, March.
  18. repec:rus:hseeco:123558 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  20. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  21. repec:rus:hseeco:123708 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  23. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  24. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2004. "Inefficiencies in Bargaining: Departing from Akerlof and Myerson-Satterthwaite," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000744, UCLA Department of Economics.
  25. Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2006. "Conflict, Defense Spending, and the Number of Nations," Scholarly Articles 4553016, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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