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Legal Costs as Barriers to Trade

Author

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  • Turrini, Alessandro Antonio
  • van Ypersele, Tanguy

Abstract

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 legal costs asymmetry produce home bias in an essentially different way than traditional trade costs. To estimate the relevance of legal costs in displacing trade we estimate gravity equations augmented with variables capturing the extent of legal asymmetries. Evidence from inter-national trade across OECD countries and intra-national trade across French support the view that legal asymmetries act as relevant obstacles to trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Turrini, Alessandro Antonio & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2006. "Legal Costs as Barriers to Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 5751, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5751
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Briant & Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2014. "Product Complexity, Quality of Institutions and the Protrade Effect of Immigrants," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 63-85, January.
    2. Helmut Wagner, 2012. "Is harmonization of legal rules an appropriate target? Lessons from the global financial crisis," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 541-564, June.
    3. G. Corcos & M. Del Gatto & G. Mion & GIP. Ottaviano, 2007. "Productivity and Firm Selection: Intra- vs International Trade," Working Paper CRENoS 200706, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    4. Emanuela Carbonara & Francesco Parisi, 2009. "Choice of law and legal evolution: rethinking the market for legal rules," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 461-492, June.
    5. Anthony Briant & Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2009. "Product Complexity, Quality Of Institutions And The Pro-Trade Effect Of Immigrants," Working Papers halshs-00382510, HAL.
    6. Anthony Briant & Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2009. "Product complexity, quality of institutions and the pro-trade effect of immigrants," Working Papers halshs-00566772, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cross-border trade; legal costs; matching;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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