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National borders matter... where one draws the lines too

  • Lavallée, E.
  • Vicard, V.

The fact that crossing a political border dramatically reduces trade flows has been widely documented in the literature. The increasing number of borders has surprisingly attracted much less attention. The number of independent countries has indeed risen from 72 in 1948 to 192 today. This paper estimates the effect of political disintegration since World War II on the measured growth in world trade. We first show that trade statistics should be considered carefully when assessing globalization over time, since the definition of trade partners varies over time. We document a sizeable resulting accounting artefact, which accounts for 17% of the growth in world trade since 1948. Second, we estimate that political disintegration alone since World War II has raised measured international trade flows by 9% but decreased actual trade flows (including inter-regional trade) by 4%...

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 272.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:272
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
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  1. Horny, Guillaume & Picchio, Matteo, 2010. "Identification of lagged duration dependence in multiple-spell competing risks models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 241-243, March.
  2. Cette, G. & Lopez, J., 2009. "ICT Demand Behaviour: an International Comparison," Working papers 252, Banque de France.
  3. Renne, J-P., 2009. "Frequency-domain analysis of debt service in a macro-finance model for the euro area," Working papers 261, Banque de France.
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