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Endogenous Borders? Exploring a Natural Experiment on Border Effects

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  • Heinemeyer, Hans Christian
  • Schulze, Max Stephan
  • Wolf, Nikolaus

Abstract

A large literature documents the impact of borders on trade. However, in all these studies border effects are identified from cross-sectional variation alone. We do not know the "treatment effect" of borders nor can we rule out reverse causation. Here, we exploit the border changes imposed across Europe by the peace treaties in 1919-20 as a natural experiment. We estimate the effects of borders on trade with a difference in difference approach and find that the "treatment effects" of borders are significantly smaller than the pure cross-sectional effects. We show that this is related to ethno-linguistic networks. Borders shape trade, and trade shapes borders.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6909.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6909

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Keywords: Border Effects; European history; treatment effects;

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References

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  1. Russell Hillberry & David Hummels, 2005. "Trade Responses to Geographic Frictions: A Decomposition Using Micro-Data," NBER Working Papers 11339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Hans Christian Heinemeyer, 2007. "The treatment effect of borders on trade. The great war and the disintegration of Central Europe," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 1(3), pages 177-210, October.
  17. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Lafourcade, Miren & Mayer, Thierry, 2005. "The trade-creating effects of business and social networks: evidence from France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-29, May.
  18. Wolf, Nikolaus, 2005. "Path dependent border effects: the case of Poland's reunification (1918-1939)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 414-438, July.
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  22. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 1489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Wolf, Nikolaus, 2008. "Was Germany ever united? Evidence from Intra- and International Trade 1885 – 1933," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 871, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

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