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Same Same But Different: Dialects and Trade

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Author Info

  • Lameli, Alfred

    ()
    (University of Marburg)

  • Nitsch, Volker

    ()
    (Darmstadt University of Technology)

  • Suedekum, Jens

    ()
    (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)

  • Wolf, Nikolaus

    ()
    (Humboldt University Berlin)

Abstract

Language is a strong and robust determinant of international trade patterns: Countries sharing a common language trade significantly more with each other than countries using different languages, holding other factors constant. In this paper, we show that this trade-promoting effect of language is likely to reflect cultural ties, rather than lower costs of communication or similar institutions. Analyzing unique data for a single-language country, Germany, we find that similarities in the local dialect between regions have a sizable and significant positive impact on intra-national trade. We interpret this finding as evidence for the effect of culture on trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7397.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: German Economic Review
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7397

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Keywords: dialects; gravity; trade costs; culture; language;

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  1. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Volker Nitsch & Nikolaus Wolf, 2009. "Tear Down this Wall: On the Persistence of Borders in Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 2847, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Delina E. Agnosteva & James E. Anderson & Yoto V. Yotov, 2014. "Intra-national Trade Costs: Measurement and Aggregation," NBER Working Papers 19872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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