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The Distance Puzzle Revisited: A New Interpretation Based on Geographic Neutrality

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  • Pérez García Francisco

    ()
    (UNIVERSITY OF VALENCIA VALENCIAN ECONOMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE (Ivie))

  • Tortosa-Ausina Emili

    ()
    (INSTITUTO VALENCIANO DE INVESTIGACIONES ECONÓMICAS (Ivie) UNIVERSITY JAUME I)

  • Arribas Fernández Iván

    ()
    (University of Valencia; Ivie)

Abstract

One of the best-established empirical results in international economics is that bilateral trade decreases with distance, despite the reductions in the costs of trade brought about by globalization. This working paper proposes an explanation to this apparent contradiction (labeled as the distance puzzle). It hinges on the concept of geographic neutrality, which is used to construct international trade integration indicators for two different scenarios, namely, when distance matters and when it does not. The results indicate that the importance of distance varies greatly across countries, as revealed by disparate gaps between distance-corrected and distance-uncorrected trade integration indicators for different countries. Some factors rooted in the literature explain away the discrepancies, but their importance varies according to the trade integration indicator considered-trade openness or trade connection.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation in its series Working Papers with number 201019.

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Length: 47
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fbb:wpaper:201019

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Keywords: Geographic neutrality; globalization; gravity models; network analysis; remoteness.;

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  1. Raja Kali & Javier Reyes, 2007. "The architecture of globalization: a network approach to international economic integration," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(4), pages 595-620, July.
  2. Rikhil Bhavnani & Natalia T. Tamirisa & Arvind Subramanian & David T. Coe, 2002. "The Missing Globalization Puzzle," IMF Working Papers 02/171, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Berthelon, Matias & Freund, Caroline, 2008. "On the conservation of distance in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 310-320, July.
  4. Thierry Mayer & Keith Head, 2002. "Illusory Border Effects: Distance Mismeasurement Inflates Estimates of Home Bias in Trade," Working Papers 2002-01, CEPII research center.
  5. Edward E. Leamer & James Levinsohn, 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, 04.
  7. Chen, Natalie & Imbs, Jean & Scott, Andrew, 2009. "The dynamics of trade and competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 50-62, February.
  8. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  9. Arribas, Iván & Pérez, Francisco & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2009. "Measuring Globalization of International Trade: Theory and Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 127-145, January.
  10. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2000. "Globalization of the Economy," NBER Working Papers 7858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David T Coe & Arvind Subramanian & Natalia T Tamirisa, 2007. "The Missing Globalization Puzzle: Evidence of the Declining Importance of Distance," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(1), pages 34-58, May.
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