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Trade Openness, Country Size and Economic Volatility: The Compensation Hypothesis Revisited


  • Down Ian

    (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)


A prominent variant of the compensation hypothesis rests on the premise that increased trade exposure heightens domestic economic volatility, prompting demands for compensation via generous systems of transfers and services. Economic theory suggests that because the expansion of international trade entails integration into larger, deeper, more stable markets, and may entail risk diversification, it may actually promote rather than reduce stability. By the same token, however, economic theory also suggests that smaller economies should experience greater levels of volatility than larger economies, and thus also greater levels of insecurity. The evidence presented here suggests that the level of domestic economic volatility in the developed economies, during the latter half of the twentieth century, may indeed have been driven by the size and depth of markets. And critically, for these countries international trade integration may have eased rather than accentuated domestic economic volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Down Ian, 2007. "Trade Openness, Country Size and Economic Volatility: The Compensation Hypothesis Revisited," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(2), pages 1-22, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:9:y:2007:i:2:n:3

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2006. "Informational lobbying and political contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 631-656, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ashraf, Ayesha, 2015. "The Effects of Greenfield FDI and Cross-Border M&As on Government Size," MPRA Paper 65061, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jason Sorens, 2014. "Fiscal federalism, jurisdictional competition, and the size of government," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 354-375, December.
    3. Schaffer, Lena Maria & Spilker, Gabriele, 2013. "Adding Another Level: Individual Responses to Globalization and Government Welfare Policies," Papers 551, World Trade Institute.
    4. Andreas Bergh, 2014. "Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15717.
    5. EDWARDS, Jeffrey, 2009. "Trading Partner Volatility And The Ability For A Country To Cope: A Panel Gmm Model, 1970-2005," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(2).

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