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How Much Does Violence Tax Trade?

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  • S. Brock Blomberg

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Gregory D. Hess

    (Claremont McKenna College and CESifo)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Brock Blomberg & Gregory D. Hess, 2006. "How Much Does Violence Tax Trade?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 599-612, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:88:y:2006:i:4:p:599-612
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    2. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "War and Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 776-810, August.
    8. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Orphanides, Athanasios, 2004. "The macroeconomic consequences of terrorism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1007-1032, July.
    9. Blomberg, S Brock, 1996. "Growth, Political Instability and the Defence Burden," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(252), pages 649-672, November.
    10. Hess, Gregory D & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1995. "War Politics: An Economic, Rational-Voter Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 828-846, September.
    11. 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.
    12. 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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