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A rather empty world: the many faces of distance and the persistent resistance to international trade

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  • Gert-Jan M. Linders
  • Martijn J. Burger
  • Frank G. van Oort

Abstract

Despite the rapid growth of world trade over the past several decades, international trade patterns remain very much affected by high trade costs. In this paper, we emphasize the importance of distance between countries in a proper explanation of the persistent resistance to trade. We find that both formal trade barriers (tariffs, transport costs, etc.) and informal trade barriers (related to cultural and institutional distances) between countries have retained their importance to trade. Not only are these tangible and intangible barriers critical in explaining the volume of trade between countries but they also help to explain the absence of trade between many countries. Copyright 2008, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Gert-Jan M. Linders & Martijn J. Burger & Frank G. van Oort, 2008. "A rather empty world: the many faces of distance and the persistent resistance to international trade," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 1(3), pages 439-458.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cjrecs:v:1:y:2008:i:3:p:439-458
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cjres/rsn019
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    Cited by:

    1. Martijn J. Burger & Mark J. P. M. Thissen & Frank G. van Oort & Dario Diodato, 2014. "The Magnitude and Distance Decay of Trade in Goods and Services: New Evidence for European Countries," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 231-259, September.
    2. Bernauer, Thomas & Spilker, Gabriele & Umaña, Víctor, 2014. "Different countries same partners: Experimental Evidence on PTA Partner Country Choice from Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Vietnam," Papers 739, World Trade Institute.
    3. Tobias Schlueter & Soenke Sievers, 2014. "Determinants of market beta: the impacts of firm-specific accounting figures and market conditions," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 535-570, April.
    4. Rodolfo Metulini & Roberto Patuelli & Daniel A. Griffith, 2018. "A Spatial-Filtering Zero-Inflated Approach to the Estimation of the Gravity Model of Trade," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(1), pages 1-15, February.
    5. Maureen Lankhuizen & Henri L. F. de Groot & Gert‐Jan M. Linders, 2011. "The Trade‐Off between Foreign Direct Investments and Exports: The Role of Multiple Dimensions of Distance," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(8), pages 1395-1416, August.
    6. Charles Plaigin, 2009. "Exploratory study on the presence of cultural and institutional growth spillovers," DULBEA Working Papers 09-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Bruna, Fernando & Faíña, Andrés & Lopez-Rodriguez, Jesus, 2014. "Market Potential and the curse of distance in European regions," MPRA Paper 56747, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Martijn Burger & Frank van Oort & Gert-Jan Linders, 2009. "On the Specification of the Gravity Model of Trade: Zeros, Excess Zeros and Zero-inflated Estimation," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 167-190.
    9. Pahan Prasada, 2011. "National and supranational institutions and trade," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT,in: Trade-led growth: A sound strategy for Asia, chapter 10 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
    10. Pat McAllister & Anupam Nanda, 2016. "Does Real Estate Defy Gravity? An Analysis of Foreign Real Estate Investment Flows," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 924-948, November.
    11. Kit Chi Chung & Pauline Fleming & Euan Fleming, 2013. "The impact of information and communication technology on international trade in fruit and vegetables in APEC," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 27(2), pages 117-130, November.
    12. Murat Genç & David Law, 2014. "A Gravity Model of Barriers to Trade in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 14/05, New Zealand Treasury.
    13. Francesco Picciolo & Tiziano Squartini & Franco Ruzzenenti & Riccardo Basosi & Diego Garlaschelli, 2012. "The role of distances in the World Trade Web," Papers 1210.3269, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2012.
    14. Fleming, Euan M. & Thiemann, Franziska & Mueller, Rolf A.E., 2011. "Information and Communication Technology and the Global Flow of Wine: A Gravity Model of ICT in Wine Trade," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114353, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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