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Trade and regional inequality

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  • Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between openness and within-country regional inequality across 28 countries over the period 1975-2005. In particular, it tests a) whether increases in trade lead to rising inequalities, b) whether these inequalities recede in time, and c) whether increases in global trade affect the developed and developing worlds differently. Using static and dynamic panel data analysis, it is found that while increases in trade per se do not lead to greater territorial polarisation, in combination with certain country-specific conditions, trade has a positive and significant association with regional inequality. States with higher inter-regional differences in sectoral endowments, a lower share of government expenditure, and a combination of high internal transaction costs with a higher degree of coincidence between the regional income distribution and regional foreign market access positions have experienced the greatest rise in territorial inequality when exposed to greater trade flows. Hence, changes in trade regimes have a more polarising and enduring effect in low- and middle-income countries, whose structural features tend to enhance the trade-inequality effect and whose levels of internal spatial inequality are, on average, significantly higher than in high-income countries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8616.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8616

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Keywords: developed countries; developing countries; regional inequality; trade;

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Cited by:
  1. Lessmann, Christian, 2014. "Spatial inequality and development — Is there an inverted-U relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 35-51.
  2. Leonel Muinelo-Gallo & Andreas P. Kyriacou & Oriol Roca-Sagalés, 2013. "Fiscal decentralization and regional disparities: the importance of good governance," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 13-03, Instituto de Economia - IECON.
  3. Ezcurra, Roberto & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2013. "Does economic globalization a ffect regional inequality? A cross-country analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 9557, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Farole, Thomas & Reis, Jose Guilherme & Wagle, Swarnim, 2010. "Analyzing trade competitiveness : a diagnostics approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5329, The World Bank.

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