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Democracy and trade: an empirical study

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  • Jessica Decker

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  • Jamus Lim

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Abstract

The theoretical discussion on globalization has suggested that there are linkages between democracy and trade, although the direction of influence is less certain. Formal empirical studies remain scarce, and have often focused on the question of whether democratic regimes influence trade policy, as opposed to the actual relationship between democracy and trade. This paper seeks to answer the question, ``Do democracies trade more?'' by applying the gravity equation to a large dataset of bilateral trade data for the period 1948-1999, while taking into account the role of democracy. It finds that democracy has a positive effect on trade flows, but only after controlling for trade pair heterogeneity. In addition, it makes the case for studies of this nature to draw a distinction between trade flows in the pre- and post-1990s period of rapid democratization as well as between developed and developing countries.
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Suggested Citation

  • Jessica Decker & Jamus Lim, 2009. "Democracy and trade: an empirical study," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 165-186, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:10:y:2009:i:2:p:165-186
    DOI: 10.1007/s10101-008-0053-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward D. Mansfield & Helen V. Milner & B. Peter Rosendorff, 2015. "Why Democracies Cooperate More: Electoral Control and International Trade Agreements," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE, chapter 11, pages 227-263 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
    7. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    8. O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj & Taylor, Alan M., 2006. "Democracy and Protectionism," CEPR Discussion Papers 5698, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    10. Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
    11. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-985, December.
    12. Milner, Helen V. & Kubota, Keiko, 2005. "Why the Move to Free Trade? Democracy and Trade Policy in the Developing Countries," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(01), pages 107-143, January.
    13. Devashish Mitra & Dimitrios D. Thomakos & Mehmet A. Ulubaşoğlu, 2016. "“Protection For Sale” In A Developing Country: Democracy Vs. Dictatorship," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Trade Policy Theory, Evidence and Applications, chapter 9, pages 163-174 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. C. Umana Dajud, 2013. "Political Proximity and International Trade," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 283-312, November.
    2. repec:eee:inecon:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:85-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bernhard Herz & Marco Wagner, 2010. "Multilateralism versus Regionalism!?," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_043, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    4. Daumal, Marie, 2008. "Federalism, separatism and international trade," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 675-687, September.
    5. repec:ris:badest:0204 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Oxana Babecká Kucharčuková & Jan Babecký & Martin Raiser, 2012. "Gravity Approach for Modelling International Trade in South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: The Role of Geography, Policy and Institutions," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 277-301, April.
    7. Zissimos, Ben, 2017. "A theory of trade policy under dictatorship and democratization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 85-101.
    8. Oxana Babecka Kucharcukova & Jan Babecky & Martin Raiser, 2010. "A Gravity Approach to Modelling International Trade in South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: The Role of Geography, Policy and Institutions," Working Papers 2010/04, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    9. Yung-hsiang Ying & Koyin Chang & Ginny ju-ann Yang & Chen-hsun Lee, 2014. "Measuring co-movement of globalization and democratization in the time–frequency space," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 206-219.
    10. Josheski, Dushko & Apostolov, Mico, 2013. "Macedonia’s exports and the gravity model," MPRA Paper 48180, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Christos Kollias & Suzanna-Maria Paleologou, 2017. "The Globalization and Peace Nexus: Findings Using Two Composite Indices," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 871-885, April.
    12. Herz Bernhard & Wagner Marco, 2011. "Regionalism as a Building Block for Multilateralism," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-25, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democracy; Trade; Gravity model; F13; P51;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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