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The Globalization of Trade and Democracy, 1870-2000

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  • J. Ernesto Lopez-Cordova
  • Christopher M. Meissner

Abstract

We study whether international trade fosters democracy. The likely endogeneity between democracy and trade is addressed via the gravity model of trade, allowing us to obtain a measure of natural openness. This serves as our instrumental variable for actual trade openness à la Frankel and Romer (1999). We use this powerful instrument to obtain estimates of the causal impact of openness on democratization. A positive impact of openness on democracy is apparent from about 1895 onwards. Late nineteenth century trade globalization may have helped generate the "first wave" of democratization. Between 1920 and 1938 countries more exposed to international trade were less likely to become authoritarian. Finally, our post-World War II results suggest that a one standard deviation increase in trade with other countries could bring countries like Indonesia, Russia or Venezuela to be as democratic as the US, Great Britain or France. We also see some variation in the impact of openness by region and note that commodity exporters and petroleum producers do not seem to become more democratic by exporting more of such items.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11117.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11117

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  1. Wolf, Nikolaus & Ritschl, Albrecht, 2003. "Endogeneity of Currency Areas and Trade Blocs: Evidence from the Inter-War Period," Papers 2004,10, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Center for Applied Statistics and Economics (CASE).
  2. Lopez-Cordova, J. Ernesto & Meissner, Chris, 2000. "Exchange-Rate Regimes and International Trade: Evidence from the Classical Gold Standard Era," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt1b04r034, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Guido G. Porto, 2003. "Using survey data to assess the distributional effects of trade policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3137, The World Bank.
  4. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Eichengreen, Barry & Irwin, Douglas A., 1995. "Trade blocs, currency blocs and the reorientation of world trade in the 1930s," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 1-24, February.
  6. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2000. "Commercial Policy with Altruistic Voters," NBER Working Papers 7984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
  8. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, December.
  9. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  10. Ianchovichina, Elena & Nicita, Alessandro & Soloaga, Isidro, 2001. "Trade reform and household welfare : the case of Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2667, The World Bank.
  11. Borraz Fernando & Lopez-Cordova Jose Ernesto, 2007. "Has Globalization Deepened Income Inequality in Mexico?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-57, February.
  12. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. James Fenske, 2012. "Ecology, Trade and States in Pre-Colonial Africa," Economics Series Working Papers WPF/2012-18, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2006. "Democracy and Foreign Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 5934, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Aidt, T. & Jensen, P.S., 2007. "The Taxman Tools Up: An Event History Study of the Introduction of the Personal Income Tax in Western Europe, 1815-1941," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0766, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Simeon Djankov & Jose G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2006. "Does Foreign Aid Help," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 26(1), pages 1-28, Winter.
  6. Jorge Braga de Macedo & Luis Brites Pereira & Joaquim Oliveira Martins & João Tovar Jalles, 2013. "Globalization, Democracy and Development," NBER Working Papers 19575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Nobuhiro Mizuno, 2009. "Inequality and Sequence of Economic Liberalization and Democratization," KIER Working Papers 673, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Aidt, Toke S. & Jensen, Peter S., 2010. "Workers of the world, unite! Franchise extensions and the threat of revolution in Europe, 1820-1938," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 7/2010, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
  9. Toke Aidt & Peter Jensen, 2013. "Democratization and the size of government: evidence from the long 19th century," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 511-542, December.
  10. Dalibor Eterovic & Toke Aidt, 2010. "Political Competition, Electoral Participation and Public Finance in 20th Century Latin America," Working Papers wp_001, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
  11. Dalibor Eterovic & Nicolas Eterovic, 2010. "Political Competition vs. PoliticalParticipation: Effects on Government's Size," Working Papers wp_006, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.

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