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Is the international border effect larger than the domestic border effect? Evidence from US trade

  • Cletus C. Coughlin
  • Dennis Novy

Many studies have found that international borders represent large barriers to trade. But how do international borders compare to domestic border barriers? We investigate international and domestic border barriers in a unified framework. We consider a data set of exports from individual U.S. states to foreign countries and combine it with trade flows between and within U.S. states. After controlling for distance and country size, we estimate that relative to state-to-state trade, crossing an individual U.S. state’s domestic border appears to entail a larger trade barrier than crossing the international U.S. border. Due to the absence of governmental impediments to trade within the United States, this result is surprising. We interpret it as highlighting the concentration of economic activity and trade flows at the local level.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/51507/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 51507.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:51507
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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