IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does Ease of Communication Increase Trade? Commonality of Language and Bilateral Trade


  • Hutchinson, William K


Gravity model explanations of trade volumes frequently include dummy variables to account for the commonality of language among trading partners. In this paper we use a data set for the number of people in a country who speak English as a first language or English as a second language (Crystal, 1997) as an indicator of the ease with which trade with the United States occurs. Controlling for commodity fixed effects we use SITC three digit industry data centered on 1995 United States bilateral trade with 33 countries to determine the effect of the degree of language commonality on bilateral trade. Both English as a first language and English as a second language are found to be less important for exports than for imports. This is true for all three digit industries as well as when the specific industry groups identified in Rauch (1999) are considered. Copyright 2002 by Scottish Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Hutchinson, William K, 2002. "Does Ease of Communication Increase Trade? Commonality of Language and Bilateral Trade," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 544-556, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:49:y:2002:i:5:p:544-56

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:49:y:2002:i:5:p:544-56. 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: (Wiley Content Delivery) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.