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History, Culture, and Trade: A Dynamic Gravity Approach

  • Douglas L. Campbell

What determines trade patterns? Habit persistence in consumer tastes and learning-by-doing in production imply that history and culture matter. Deriving a dynamic gravity equation from a simple model, it is shown that cultural similarity is a product of history, so that trade patterns are a function of bilateral GDP, current trade costs, and the past history of trade costs. Using a trade data set which spans from 1870 to 2000, I demonstrate that many gravity variables operate via lagged trade, that historical trade shocks matter, and that trade patterns are persistent, even across centuries.

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Paper provided by Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels in its series EERI Research Paper Series with number EERI_RP_2010_26.

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Date of creation: 26 Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2010_26
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