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On the Death of Distance and Borders: Evidence from the Nineteenth Century

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  • David S. Jacks

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate time-dependent border and distance effects in the nineteenth century and document clear declines in the importance of these variables through time. What this suggests, in light of the work for the post-1950 era, is that researchers might have correctly identified the increasing effect of distance on bilateral trade over time. In other words, trade costs may have not declined nearly as dramatically in the late twentieth century as has been supposed, especially in light of the nineteenth century, a time of documented trade cost decline and commodity market integration.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15250.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15250.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Publication status: published as Jacks, David S., 2009. "On the death of distance and borders: Evidence from the nineteenth century," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 230-233, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15250

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  1. Céline CARRERE & Maurice SCHIFF, 2004. "On the Geography of Trade: Distance is Alive and Well," Working Papers 200423, CERDI.
  2. Shiue, Carol H., 2005. "From political fragmentation towards a customs union: Border effects of the German Zollverein, 1815 to 1855," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 129-162, August.
  3. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 593, Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," Research Working Paper 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  5. Leamer, Edward E. & Levinsohn, James, 1995. "International trade theory: The evidence," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1339-1394 Elsevier.
  6. Jacks, David S., 2006. "What drove 19th century commodity market integration?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 383-412, July.
  7. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2004. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," Development Working Papers 186, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  8. Berthelon, Matias & Freund, Caroline, 2004. "On the conservation of distance in international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3293, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Douglas L. Campbell, 2010. "History, Culture, and Trade: A Dynamic Gravity Approach," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2010_26, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  2. Lin, Faqin & Sim, Nicholas C.S., 2012. "Death of distance and the distance puzzle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 225-228.
  3. Uebele, Martin, 2011. "National and international market integration in the 19th century: Evidence from comovement," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 226-242, April.
  4. Gianluca Cafiso, 2012. "Sectoral Trade Freeness and Agglomeration in the EU: An Empirical Test Strategy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4000, CESifo Group Munich.

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