The Gravity of Globalization
AbstractCan changes in the trade of the world’s largest trading countries be considered more global? Or should they be labeled as more regional? We investigated these questions for the G7 countries for the time period from 1980 to 1997. We found that the usual dichotomy of global-regional is not rich enough to answer these questions because globalization can be measured in terms of both physical and cultural distance. Our new taxonomy allows for testing these separate impacts on world trade and suggests that trade changes are best described as regional, though with some qualification. With respect to physical distance, we find that trade is clearly becoming more regional. On the cultural dimension, however, we find conflicting results. These results are robust to a series of tests. We find the same pattern at industry level, except for Paper Products and Motor Vehicles. The regionalization pattern holds for both imports to and exports from the G7, but it is stronger for exports.
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