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Cultural distance as a determinant of bilateral trade flows: do immigrants counter the effect of cultural differences?

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  • Bedassa Tadesse
  • Roger White

Abstract

We introduce 'cultural distance' as a measure of the degree to which shared norms and values in one country differ from those in another country, and employ a modified gravity specification to examine whether such cultural differences affect the volume of trade flows. Employing data for US state-level exports to the 75 trading partners for which measures of cultural distance can be constructed, we find that greater cultural differences between the United States and a trading partner reduces state-level exports to that country. This result holds for aggregate exports, cultural and noncultural products exports as well, but with significantly different magnitudes. Immigrants are found to exert a pro-export effect that partially offsets the trade-inhibiting effects of cultural distance.

Suggested Citation

  • Bedassa Tadesse & Roger White, 2010. "Cultural distance as a determinant of bilateral trade flows: do immigrants counter the effect of cultural differences?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 147-152, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:17:y:2010:i:2:p:147-152
    DOI: 10.1080/13504850701719983
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Murat Genc & Masood Gheasi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2012. "The impact of immigration on international trade: a meta-analysis," Chapters,in: Migration Impact Assessment, chapter 9, pages 301-337 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Annie Tubadji & Brian Osoba & Peter Nijkamp, 2015. "Culture-based development in the USA: culture as a factor for economic welfare and social well-being at a county level," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 39(3), pages 277-303, August.
    3. David Law & Murat Genç & John Bryant, 2013. "Trade, Diaspora and Migration to New Zealand," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(5), pages 582-606, May.
    4. Angeles, Luis, 2012. "Is there a role for genetics in economic development?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-08, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    5. Núria Quella & Silvio Rendon, 2012. "Occupational selection in multilingual labor markets: the case of Catalonia," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(8), pages 918-937, November.
    6. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:72-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas & Lodefalk, Magnus, 2015. "The Role of Foreign Networks for Firm Export of Services," Working Papers 2015:6, Örebro University, School of Business.
    8. Peter H. Egger & Maximilian von Ehrlich & Douglas R. Nelson, 2012. "Migration and Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 216-241, February.
    9. Philipp Harms & Daria Shuvalova, 2016. "Cultural Distance and International Trade in Services: A Disaggregate View," Working Papers 1606, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    10. Ehrhart, Helene & Le Goff, Maelan & Rocher?, Emmanuel & Singh, Raju Jan, 2014. "Does migration foster exports ? evidence from Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6739, The World Bank.
    11. Horácio Faustino & Isabel Proença, 2011. "Effects of Immigration on Intra-Industry Trade: A logit analysis," Working Papers Department of Economics 2011/19, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    12. 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.
    13. Artal-Tur, Andrés & Pallardó-López, Vicente J. & Requena-Silvente, Francisco, 2012. "The trade-enhancing effect of immigration networks: New evidence on the role of geographic proximity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 554-557.
    14. Zhiling Wang & Thomas de Graaff & Peter Nijkamp, 2014. "The choice of migration destinations: cultural diversity versus cultural distance," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1147, European Regional Science Association.
    15. repec:nwe:eajour:y:2018:i:1:p:69-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Nuno Carlos Leitão, 2013. "The Impact of Immigration on Portuguese Intra-Industry Trade," Working Papers 2013.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    17. Francisco Requena & Vicente Pallardó & Andrés Artal, 2012. "Which immigrants stimulate exports in their host country? (en homenaje a José Vicente Blanes)," Working Papers 1207, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    18. 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.
    19. Michael Good, 2013. "Geographic Proximity and the Pro-trade Effect of Migration: State-level Evidence from Mexican Migrants in the United States," 2013 Papers pgo530, Job Market Papers.
    20. Michael Good, 2012. "How Localized is the Pro-trade Effect of Immigration? Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Working Papers 1203, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
    21. Cantore, Nicola & Canavari, Maurizio & Pignatti, Erika, 2008. "Organic certification systems and international trading of agricultural products in gravity models," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6159, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    22. Shaker, Saber Adly, 2017. "الأبعاد الثقافية للتجارة الدولية: حالة دول إتفاقية أغادير
      [The Cultural Dimensions of International Trade: The Case of AGADIR Agreement countries]
      ," MPRA Paper 81761, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2017.
    23. Álvarez, Inmaculada C. & Barbero, Javier & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés & Zofío, José L., 2018. "Does Institutional Quality Matter for Trade? Institutional Conditions in a Sectoral Trade Framework," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 72-87.
    24. Herz, Benedikt & Varela-Irimia, Xosé-Luís, 2016. "Border Effects in European Public Procurement," MPRA Paper 76401, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Jan 2017.

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