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Traders, Courts and the Home Bias Puzzle

  • Turrini, Alessandro Antonio
  • van Ypersele, Tanguy

Recent evidence shows that the ‘home bias puzzle’ in international trade may be associated with the mere presence of national borders (McCallum (1995)). In this Paper we provide a theoretical framework to explain why borders may matter so much for trade. Our argument is that even between perfectly integrated and similar countries the legal system differs, so that legal costs are higher when business is done abroad. Using a matching model of trade, we show that the home bias is associated with both less searching foreign sellers in the home market and a lower probability of cross-border matches being accepted. In industries characterized by high turnover legal costs may reduce trade because reducing the mass of searching foreign sellers and increasing at the same time that of searching domestic sellers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3228.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3228
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  1. Robert Feenstra, 2003. "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Working Papers 986, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C00-112, University of California at Berkeley.
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  13. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Non-Europe : the magnitude and causes of market fragmentation in the EU," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques bla99004a, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
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  18. Thierry Mayer & Keith Head, 2002. "Illusory Border Effects: Distance Mismeasurement Inflates Estimates of Home Bias in Trade," Working Papers 2002-01, CEPII research center.
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