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The gains from economic integration

Author

Listed:
  • David Comerford
  • José V Rodríguez Mora
  • Beata Javorcik

Abstract

SummaryThis paper measures the effect of political integration, such as sharing a national state or economic union, on the degree of trade integration. Consistently with previous work, we find large border effects. However, such estimates may be biased and overestimate the effects of borders because of endogeneity: selection into sharing a political space is correlated with affinities for trade. We propose a method to address this and we produce estimates which are closer to the causal effect. We then conduct speculative exercises showing the costs and benefits of the changing levels of integration associated with: the independence of Scotland, Catalonia and the Basque Country from the United Kingdom and Spain [but remaining within the European Union (EU)]; the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU; the break-up of the EU itself and closer integration within the EU so that its internal borders appear similar to the internal borders of individual countries (as opposed to its current state of being simply a closely integrated group of countries). We find that the border effect between countries is an order of magnitude larger than the border effect associated with the EU.

Suggested Citation

  • David Comerford & José V Rodríguez Mora & Beata Javorcik, 2019. "The gains from economic integration," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 34(98), pages 201-266.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecpoli:v:34:y:2019:i:98:p:201-266.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/epolic/eiz004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cletus C. Coughlin & Dennis Novy, 2013. "Is the International Border Effect Larger than the Domestic Border Effect? Evidence from US Trade," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(2), pages 249-276, June.
    2. Dennis Novy, 2013. "Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs With Panel Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 101-121, January.
    3. Keith Head & John Ries, 2001. "Increasing Returns versus National Product Differentiation as an Explanation for the Pattern of U.S.-Canada Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 858-876, September.
    4. Wyatt J. Brooks & Pau S. Pujolas, 2018. "Capital accumulation and the welfare gains from trade," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 66(2), pages 491-523, August.
    5. A. Kerem Cosar & Paul L. E. Grieco & Felix Tintelnot, 2015. "Borders, Geography, and Oligopoly: Evidence from the Wind Turbine Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 623-637, July.
    6. Paul Grieco & A. Kerem Cosar & Felix Tintelnot, 2014. "Borders, Geography and Oligopoly: Evidence from the Wind Turbine Industry," 2014 Meeting Papers 143, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Ebell, Monique & Hurst, Ian & Warren, James, 2016. "Modelling the long-run economic impact of leaving the European Union," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 196-209.
    8. Atkin, David & Donaldson, Dave, 2015. "Who’s Getting Globalized? The Size and Implications of Intra-national Trade Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 10759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    10. Comerford, David & Rodríguez Mora, José Vicente, 2014. "Regions are not countries: a new approach to the border effect," CEPR Discussion Papers 9967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-116, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincenzo Galasso, 2020. "Market Reactions to Quest for Decentralization and Independence: Evidence from Catalonia," CESifo Working Paper Series 8254, CESifo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    F15; R13;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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