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Endogeneity of Currency Areas and Trade Blocs: Evidence from the Inter-war Period

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  • Ritschl, Albrecht
  • Wolf, Nikolaus

Abstract

Empirical research on the gravity model of international trade in the wake of Rose (2000) affirms that currency union formation doubles or triples trade. Currency unions could, however, also be established precisely because trade among their members was already high. In OLS estimation, this would cause endogeneity bias. The present Paper employs both fixed-effects and binary choice methods to trace endogeneity in the formation of historical currency arrangements. Studying the formation of currency blocs in the 1930s, we find strong evidence of endogeneity. We work with country-group fixed effects and find that already in the 1920s, trade within the later currency blocs was up to three times higher than average. The formal establishment of these blocs had only insignificant or even negative effects on the coefficients. We also employ a probit approach to predict membership in these later arrangements on the basis of data from the 1920s. Results are remarkably robust and again indicate strong self-selection bias. Evaluated against the control groups, treatment effects in the 1930s were mostly absent. Even the post-war currency arrangements are visible in the inter-war data. In line with the theory of optimum currency areas, our results caution against optimism over trade creation by currency unions.

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  • Ritschl, Albrecht & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2003. "Endogeneity of Currency Areas and Trade Blocs: Evidence from the Inter-war Period," CEPR Discussion Papers 4112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4112
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    Cited by:

    1. Sergio de Nardis & Roberta De Santis & Claudio Vicarelli, 2008. "The Euro's Effects on Trade in a Dynamic Setting," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 5(1), pages 73-85, June.
    2. Andrew K. Rose & T. D. Stanley, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Common Currencies on International Trade ," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 347-365, July.
    3. Sergio Nardis, 2004. "Currency unions and trade: The special case of EMU," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 140(3), pages 625-649, September.
    4. Paul Hallwood & Ronald MacDonald & Ian Marsh, 2011. "Remilitarization and the End of the Gold Bloc in 1936," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 305-321, September.
    5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    6. J. Ernesto Lopez-Cordova & Christopher M. Meissner, 2005. "The Globalization of Trade and Democracy, 1870-2000," NBER Working Papers 11117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Aditya Bhattacharjea, 2004. "IMPERIAL LEGACY The Persistence of Colonial Trade Patterns," Working papers 126, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    8. Christopher M. Meissner & Jose Ernesto Lopez Cordova, 2005. "Globalization and Democracy, 1870-2000," 2005 Meeting Papers 112, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Mitchener, Kris James & Wandschneider, Kirsten, 2015. "Capital controls and recovery from the financial crisis of the 1930s," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 188-201.
    10. Vicarelli, Claudio & De Santis, Roberta & De Nardis, Sergio, 2008. "The Single Currency's Effects on Eurozone Sectoral Trade: Winners and Losers?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-34.
    11. Praussello, Franco, 2012. "The Theory of Endogenous Optimum Currency Areas: A Critical Note - La teoria delle aree monetarie ottimali endogene: una nota critica," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 65(1), pages 83-95.
    12. Klein, Michael W. & Shambaugh, Jay C., 2006. "Fixed exchange rates and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 359-383, December.
    13. Boerner, Lars & Volckart, Oliver, 2011. "The utility of a common coinage: Currency unions and the integration of money markets in late Medieval Central Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 53-65, January.
    14. Heinemeyer, Hans Christian & Schulze, Max Stephan & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2008. "Endogenous Borders? Exploring a Natural Experiment on Border Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 6909, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol Hua, 2008. "Tariffs, Trains, and Trade: The Role of Institutions versus Technology in the Expansion of Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 6759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Oliver Volckart, 2007. "Rules, Discretion or Reputation? Monetary Policies and the Efficiency of Financial Markets in Germany, 14th to 16th Centuries," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-007, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    17. Wolf, Nikolaus, 2008. "Scylla and Charybdis. Explaining Europe's exit from gold, January 1928-December 1936," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 383-401, September.
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    19. Nikolaus Wolf, 2008. "Scylla and Charybdis. Explaining Europe’s Exit from Gold, January 1928 – December 1936," CESifo Working Paper Series 2271, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Freitag, Stephan, 2010. "Choosing an anchor currency for the Pacific," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 112, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    21. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol Hua, 2013. "The Trade Impact of the Zollverein," CEPR Discussion Papers 9387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Wolfgang Keller & Carol H. Shiue, 2008. "Institutions, Technology, and Trade," NBER Working Papers 13913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Sergio Nardis & Claudio Vicarelli, 2003. "Currency unions and trade: The special case of EMU," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 139(4), pages 625-649, December.
    24. Roberta De Santis & Claudio Vicarelli, 2007. "The “deeper” and the “wider” EU strategies of trade integration.An empirical evaluation of EU Common Commercial Policy effects," ISAE Working Papers 79, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
    25. Kirsten Wandschneider & Nikolaus Wolf, 2010. "Shooting on a moving target: explaining European bank rates during the interwar period," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1/2), pages 31-48.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    currency blocs; endogeneity; gravity model; treatment effects;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative

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