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Domestic Road Infrastructure and International Trade: Evidence from Turkey

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  • A. Kerem Cosar

    () (University of Chicago, Booth School of Business)

  • Banu Demir

    () (Bilkent University, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Poor domestic transportation infrastructure in developing countries is often cited as an important impediment for accessing international markets. Yet, evidence on how transportation infrastructure improvements affect the volume and composition of exports is scarce. Drawing on the large-scale public investment in expressways undertaken in Turkey during the 2000s, this paper contributes to our understanding of how internal trade costs affect regional exports and specialization. Two results emerge. First, we estimate that this road infrastructure project accounts for 15 percent of the export increase from interior regions, generating a 10-year discounted stream of additional export revenues that amount to between 9 and 14 percent of the value of the investment. Second, while the exports of all industries within a given region increase in response to improvements in connectivity to the international gateways of the country, the magnitude of this increase is larger the more time sensitive an industry is. Accordingly, we also observe an increase in the regional employment and revenue shares of such industries. Our results support the hypothesis that internal trade costs can be a determinant of international specialization and comparative advantage.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Kerem Cosar & Banu Demir, 2014. "Domestic Road Infrastructure and International Trade: Evidence from Turkey," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1406, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  • Handle: RePEc:koc:wpaper:1406
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:198-215 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Heid, Benedikt & Larch, Mario & Yotov, Yoto, 2017. "Estimating the Effects of Non-discriminatory Trade Policies within Structural Gravity Models," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2017-10, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    3. Lugovskyy, Oleksandr & Skiba, Alexandre, 2014. "Effect of distance on trade under slope heterogeneity and cross-correlated effects," Economics Discussion Papers 2014-30, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Xu, Hangtian, 2016. "Domestic railroad infrastructure and exports: Evidence from the Silk Route," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 129-147.
    5. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Stephen J. Redding, 2014. "External Integration, Structural Transformation and Economic Development: Evidence From Argentina," CEP Discussion Papers dp1273, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. World Bank, 2016. "Georgia Economic Impact of East-West Highway Phase 2," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24668, The World Bank.
    7. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Stephen J. Redding, 2014. "External Integration, Structural Transformation and Economic Development: Evidence from Argentina 1870-1914," NBER Working Papers 20217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. repec:eee:retrec:v:61:y:2017:i:c:p:2-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum & Edouard Schaal, 2017. "Optimal Transport Networks in Spatial Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 23200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. A.Kerem Cosar & Banu Demir, 2017. "Shipping inside the Box: Containerization and Trade," Working Papers DP-2016-37, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    11. Arnarson, Björn Thor, 2015. "Bridging Trade Barriers: Evaluating Models of Multi-Product Exporters," Working Papers 2015:6, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 14 Oct 2016.
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    13. Volpe Martincus, Christian & Carballo, Jerónimo & Cusolito, Ana, 2017. "Roads, exports and employment: Evidence from a developing country," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 21-39.
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    16. repec:eee:transa:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:126-139 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Gojko Barjamovic & Thomas Chaney & Kerem A. Coşar & Ali Hortaçsu, 2017. "Trade, Merchants, and the Lost Cities of the Bronze Age," NBER Working Papers 23992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Hallonsten, Jan Simon & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2016. "A semi-endogenous growth model for developing countries with public factors, imported capital goods, and limited export demand," MERIT Working Papers 004, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international trade; infrastructure; transportation costs; time-sensitive industries.;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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