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Globalization and Political Structure

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  • Gancia, Gino A
  • Ponzetto, Giacomo AM
  • Ventura, Jaume

Abstract

The first wave of globalization (1830-1914) was accompanied by a decline in the number of countries from 125 to 54. The second wave of globalization (1950-present) has led instead to an increase in the number of countries to a record high of more than 190. This paper develops a theoretical framework to study the interaction between globalization and political structure. We show that political structure adapts to expanding trade opportunities in a non-monotonic way. Borders hamper trade. In its early stages, the political response to globalization consists of removing borders by increasing country size. In its later stages, however, the political response to globalization is to remove the cost of borders by creating international economic unions, and this leads to a reduction in country size.

Suggested Citation

  • Gancia, Gino A & Ponzetto, Giacomo AM & Ventura, Jaume, 2016. "Globalization and Political Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 11159, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11159
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gancia, Gino & Ponzetto, Giacomo A.M. & Ventura, Jaume, 2020. "A theory of economic unions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 107-127.
    2. Bonfatti, Roberto, 2017. "The sustainability of empire in a global perspective: The role of international trade patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 137-156.
    3. Arnorsson, Agust & Zoega, Gylfi, 2018. "On the causes of Brexit," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 301-323.
    4. Piteli, Eleni E.N. & Buckley, Peter J. & Kafouros, Mario, 2019. "Do remittances to emerging countries improve their economic development? Understanding the contingent role of culture," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(4).
    5. Suesse, Marvin, 2019. "Adjusting the size of nations: Empirical determinants of separatism and the Soviet breakup," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 50-64.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Globalization; international unions; political structure; size of countries;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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