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How Much Does Violence Tax Trade?

  • S. Brock Blomberg

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Gregory D. Hess

    (Claremont McKenna College and CESifo)

We investigate the empirical effect of violence, as compared to other trade impediments, on trade flows. Our analysis is based on a panel data set with annual observations on 177 countries from 1968 to 1999, which brings together information from the Rose data set, the iterate data set for terrorist events, and data sets of external and internal conflict. We explore these data with traditional and theoretical gravity models. We calculate that, for a given country year, the presence of terrorism together with internal and external conflict is equivalent to as much as a 30% tariff on trade. This is larger than estimated tariff-equivalent costs of border and language barriers and tariff-equivalent reduction through generalized systems of preference and WTO participation. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/rest.88.4.599
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 599-612

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:88:y:2006:i:4:p:599-612
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  1. 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.
  2. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really KNow that the WTO Increases Trade?," Working Papers 182002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  3. Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "War and Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 776-810, August.
  4. Nitsch, Volker & Schumacher, Dieter, 2004. "Terrorism and international trade: an empirical investigation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 423-433, June.
  5. Stephen Brock Blomberg, 1992. "Growth, political instability, and the defense burden," International Finance Discussion Papers 436, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  7. Andrew K. Rose & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "National Money as a Barrier to International Trade: The Real Case for Currency Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 386-390, May.
  8. Arvind Subramanian & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," NBER Working Papers 10024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004. "Economic conditions and terrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 463-478, June.
  10. S. Brock Blomberg & Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 2004. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Terrorism," CESifo Working Paper Series 1151, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Hess, Gregory D & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1995. "War Politics: An Economic, Rational-Voter Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 828-46, September.
  12. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
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