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Paying a Visit: The Dalai Lama Effect on International Trade

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  • Fuchs, A.
  • Klann, N.

Abstract

The Chinese government frequently threatens that meetings between its trading partners’ officials and the Dalai Lama will be met with animosity and ultimately harm trade ties with China. We run a gravity model of exports to China from 159 partner countries between 1991 and 2008 to test to which extent bilateral tensions affect trade with autocratic China. In order to account for the potential endogeneity of meetings with the Dalai Lama, the number of Tibet Support Groups and the travel pattern of the Tibetan leader are used as instruments. Our empirical results support the idea that countries officially receiving the Dalai Lama at the highest political level are punished through a reduction of their exports to China. However, this ‘Dalai Lama Effect’ is only observed for the Hu Jintao era and not for earlier periods. Furthermore, we find that this effect is mainly driven by reduced exports of machinery and transport equipment and that it disappears two years after a meeting took place.

Suggested Citation

  • Fuchs, A. & Klann, N., 2011. "Paying a Visit: The Dalai Lama Effect on International Trade," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1103, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1103
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    Cited by:

    1. Bala Ramasamy & Matthew C.H. Yeung, 2012. "Ethical distance and difference in Bilateral trade," Working Papers 11012, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..
    2. He, Yinghua & Nielsson, Ulf & Wang, Yonglei, 2017. "Hurting without hitting: The economic cost of political tension," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 106-124.
    3. Heilmann, Kilian, 2016. "Does political conflict hurt trade? Evidence from consumer boycotts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 179-191.
    4. repec:eee:inecon:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:211-225 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Strand, Jonathan R. & Zappile, Tina M., 2015. "Always Vote for Principle, Though You May Vote Alone: Explaining United States Political Support for Multilateral Development Loans," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 224-239.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Trade; International Political Economy; Diplomatic Relations; Exports to China; Tibet; Dalai Lama;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other

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