IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The treatment effect of borders on trade. The great war and the disintegration of Central Europe

Listed author(s):
  • Hans Christian Heinemeyer


    (Department of Economics, Freie Universität Berlin, Boltzmannstrasse 20, 14195 Berlin, Germany)

This paper investigates the impact of changes in national border demarcation on economic integration. It treats the national breakups in Central Europe due to WWI as a natural experiment. The set-up allows to control for selection bias when estimating the impact of national borders on trade. A gravity model of trade is used to analyze goods-specific trade among Central European regions. The main results are, first, that systematic deviations of the observations under “border treatment” are found. Regions pairs that became separated by a new national border after WWI, tended to have below average levels of economic integration already before the war. A comparison of actual and biased result for goods-specific trade yields a difference of between 21 and 86% ad-valorem tariff equivalent, and might well be higher for certain goods. Second, the analysis indicates that cross-border integration was indeed lower after WWI but that this change was economically significant only for certain sectors. Third, in the interwar period, international trade was less diverted by borders first established after the war than by borders existing already before WWI. The results stress the importance of relative barriers to trade in attenuating the adverse effects of WWI on economic integration.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to journal subscribers

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its journal Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

Volume (Year): 1 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 177-210

in new window

Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:1:y:2007:i:3:p:177-210
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:1:y:2007:i:3:p:177-210. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.