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The New Geography of Eastern European Trade


  • Mathilde Maurel
  • Guillaume Cheikbossian


SUMMARY This paper is meant to answer the question whether the CMEA countries trade flows have been able to catch up with their trade potential. The gravity equations estimated over a panel of 14 years show that there is a room for an increase in trade, which could compensate for the huge regional trade losses. But, if one takes into account the higher than average transportation costs in East Europe, this potential increase may only he reached through the reduction of these transportation costs and through further liberalisation of regional trade flows. How costly has been the disintegration process? The computation of gross trade destruction (GTD) versus trade creation (TC) minus external trade diversion (ETD) in the framework of the Viner model reflects the decreasing costs of the CMEA break‐up: a dramatic trade reorientation has taken place, and it is welfare improving. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG Dieser Artikel untersucht, ob der Aussenhandel der ehemaligen COMECON‐Länder sein potentielles Niveau bereits erreicht hat. Ein Gravitltsmodel über einen Zeitraum von 14 Jahren zeigt, dass es noch ein Potential für zusätzlichen internationalen Handel giht, das den Zusammenbruch des regionalen Handels kompensieren könnte. Wenn jedoch die höheren Transportkosten in Mittel‐ und Osteuropa in Betracht gezogen werden, dürfte dieses Potential nur durch eine Reduzierung dieser Kosten und eine weitergehende Handelsliberalisierung ausgeschöpft werden können. Der Artikel heschäftigt sich ebenfalls mit den Kosten des Zusammenbruchs des COMECON‐Handels. Die Berechnung der Bruttohandelszerstörung versus neu entstandenem Handel abzuglich der Handelsahlenkung im Modell von Viner zeigt, dass diese Kosten positiv und ahnehmend sind. Die starke Reorientierung des Aussenhandels hat eine erhöhte Wohlfahrt in der Region zur Folge. RESUME Cet article tente de répondre è la question de savoir si le commerce des pays ex‐memhres du CAEM a rattrapé son niveau potentiel. L'équation de gravité estimée sur un panel de 14 ans montre qu'il existe un potentiel d'échanges qui pourrait compenser l'effondrement du commerce régional. Mais la prise en compte des coǔts de transport qui sont plus élevés en Europe de l'Est suggère que ce potentiel ne peut ěre exploité qu' è travers la réduction de ces coǔts en Europe de l'Est et è travers une libéralisation plus poussée des échanges. Le processus de désintégration a t'il été coǔteux? Le calcul de la destruction de commerce (DC) versus création (CC) et destruction extérieure de commerce (DEC) dans le modèle de Viner montre que le coǔt est positif mais décroissant. L'importante réorientation des échanges tend è améliorer le bien‐ětre dans la région.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathilde Maurel & Guillaume Cheikbossian, 1998. "The New Geography of Eastern European Trade," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 45-72, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:51:y:1998:i:1:p:45-72
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-6435.00037

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    Cited by:

    1. Crozet, Matthieu & Koenig Soubeyran, Pamina, 2004. "EU enlargement and the internal geography of countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 265-279, June.
    2. Jan Fidrmuc & Jarko Fidrmuc, 2003. "Disintegration and Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(5), pages 811-829, November.
    3. Helena Marques & Hugh Metcalf, 2003. "Extending the EU Single Market Eastwards: Sectoral Trade and Real Wage Effects," Discussion Paper Series 2003_10, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Oct 2003.
    4. Ion Lucian Ceapraz, 2008. "The Concepts Of Specialisation And Spatial Concentration And The Process Of Economic Integration: Theoretical Relevance And Statistical Measures. The Case Of Romania’S Regions," Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Romanian Regional Science Association, vol. 2(1), pages 68-93, June.
    5. Bojnec, Štefan & Hartmann, Monika, 2004. "Agricultural and food trade in Central and Eastern Europe: the case of Slovenian intra-industry trade," IAMO Discussion Papers 65, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).
    6. Fidrmuc, Jarko & Fidrmuc, Jan, 2000. "Integration, disintegration and trade in Europe: Evolution of trade relations during the 1990s," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2000, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    7. Fidrmuc, Jan & Horvath, Julius & Fidrmuc, Jarko, 1999. "The Stability of Monetary Unions: Lessons from the Breakup of Czechoslovakia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 753-781, December.
    8. Olivier Lamotte, 2003. "Disintegration and trade in South-eastern Europe," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques j04031, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    9. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-836, September.
    10. Helena Marques & Hugh Metcalf, 2005. "What Determines Sectoral Trade in the Enlarged EU?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 197-231, May.
    11. Maurel, Mathilde, 2002. "On the Way of EMU Enlargement towards CEECs: What is the Appropriate Exchange Rate Regime?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Angela Cheptea, 2010. "Border Effects and East-West Integration," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 10-15, INRAE UMR SMART-LERECO.
    13. Angela Cheptea, 2013. "Border Effects and European Integration," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(2), pages 277-305, June.
    14. Mohamed Hedi Bchir & Mathilde Maurel, 2002. "Impacts économiques et sociaux de l'élargissement pour l'Union européenne et la France," Working Papers 2002-03, CEPII research center.
    15. repec:zbw:iamodp:92027 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Wolfgang Gerstenberger & Beate Henschel & Herbert Hofmann & Carsten Pohl & Heinz Schmalholz & Carola Boede & Michaela Fuchs & Martin Werding, 2004. "Auswirkungen der EU-Osterweiterung auf Wirtschaft und Arbeitsmarkt in Sachsen," ifo Dresden Studien, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 35, October.
    17. van Brabant, Jozef M., 2001. "Transforming trade and payments in transition economies -- the regional dimension," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 99-126, January.
    18. Jarko Fidrmuc & Peter Huber & Jan Jakub Michalek, 1999. "Poland's Accession to the European Union: Demand for Protection of Selected Sensitive Products," WIFO Working Papers 117, WIFO.
    19. Laurence Boone & Mathilde Maurel, 2001. "Pegging the CEECs Exchange Rates to the Euro," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 3, pages 77-89.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration


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