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Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation

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  • James E. Anderson
  • Douglas Marcouiller

Abstract

Corruption and imperfect contract enforcement dramatically reduce international trade. This paper estimates the reduction using a structural model of import demand in which insecurity acts as a hidden tax on trade. We find that inadequate institutions constrain trade as much as tariffs do. We also find that omission of indices of institutional quality biases the estimates of typical gravity models, obscuring a negative relationship between per capita income and the share of total expenditure devoted to traded goods. Finally, we argue that cross-country variation in the effectiveness of institutions and the consequent variation in the prices of traded goods offer a simple explanation for the stylized fact that high-income, capital-abundant countries trade disproportionately with each other. © 2002 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002. "Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:84:y:2002:i:2:p:342-352
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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