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Make trade not war ?

  • Martin, Philippe
  • Mayer, Thierry
  • Thoenig, Mathias

This paper analyses theoretically and empirically the relationship between trade and war. We show that the intuition that trade promotes peace is only partially true even in a model where trade is beneficial to all, war reduces trade and leaders take into account the costs of war. When war can occur because of the presence of asymmetric information, the probability of escalation is indeed lower for countries that trade more bilaterally because of the opportunity cost associated with the loss of trade gains. However, countries more open to global trade have a higher probability of war because multilateral trade openness decreases bilateral dependence to any given country. Using a theoretically-based econometric model, we test our predictions on a large dataset of military conflicts in the period 1948-2001. We find strong evidence for the contrasting effects of bilateral and multilateral trade. Our empirical results also confirm our theoretical prediction that multilateral trade openness increases more the probability of war between proximate countries. This may explain why military conflicts have become more localized and less global over time.

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File URL: http://www.cepremap.fr/depot/docweb/docweb0515.pdf
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Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) with number 0515.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:0515
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  1. Izquierdo, Alejandro & Morisset, Jacques & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2003. "Information diffusion in international markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3032, The World Bank.
  2. Garfinkel, M.R., 1992. ""Domestic Politics and International Conflict"," Papers 90-92-30, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  3. repec:rus:hseeco:123708 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Rose, Andrew K, 2003. "Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Gregory D. Hess, 2003. "The Economic Welfare Cost of Conflict: An Empirical Assessment," CESifo Working Paper Series 852, CESifo Group Munich.
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  10. 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.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 2005. "War, peace, and the size of countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1333-1354, July.
  12. Herschel I. Grossman, 2013. "Choosing Between Peace and War," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 765-783, November.
  13. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 1990. "Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: 2nd Edition," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 82.
  14. Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2004. "It takes two : an explanation of the democratic peace," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 539, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. 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.
  16. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 2006. "Conflict, defense spending, and the number of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 91-120, January.
  17. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," NBER Working Papers 9273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  19. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  20. 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.
  21. Daniel M. Jones & Stuart A. Bremer & J. David Singer, 1996. "Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1816–1992: Rationale, Coding Rules, and Empirical Patterns," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 15(2), pages 163-213, September.
  22. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2004. "Inefficiencies in Bargaining: Departing from Akerlof and Myerson-Satterthwaite," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000744, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  25. repec:rus:hseeco:123558 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Baldwin, R E & Murray, Tracy, 1977. "MFN Tariff Reductions and Developing Country Trade Benefits under the GSP," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 30-46, March.
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