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Law, trade, and development

  • Moenius, Johannes
  • Berkowitz, Daniel

This paper uses a Ricardian model to generate predictions about the influence of institutions on trade in differentiated (complex) and commoditized (simple) products and then uses a rich international trade data set for empirical tests. The model draws the distinction between the role of international transaction costs and domestic production costs in the trade of complex and simple products. The effects of institutions predicted by the model are identified with a three-step estimation procedure. We find that when countries have low quality institutions, institutional reform primarily influences production costs and has little influence on the volume of trade. Institutional reform, however, increases the diversity of exports in complex goods markets. Conversely, in countries with more developed institutions, institutional reform primarily influences transaction costs and is associated with gains in the volume and the diversity of complex exports.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 451-460

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:96:y:2011:i:2:p:451-460
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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