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Is God Good for Trade?

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  • Matthias Helble

Abstract

As the world economy is integrating, trade between countries is growing rapidly. The exchange of goods not only has an economic, but also a cultural dimension. In the gravity equation literature common religion is often used as a control variable, without distinguishing between religious groups. This paper investigates the possible ways in which religion influences international trade patterns. Analyzing empirically trade flows between 151 countries, the paper finds that the five world religions, namely Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, have different impacts on trade. For inter-religious trade the study indicates that several religions have clear preferences with whom to trade or not. Furthermore, the results indicate that religious openness boosts trade performance of countries. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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  • Matthias Helble, 2007. "Is God Good for Trade?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 385-413, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:60:y:2007:i:3:p:385-413
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    1. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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