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International trade and internal geography revisited

  • BEHRENS, Kristian

    ()

    (LATEC - CNRS UMR 5118 - MSH - Université de Bourgogne)

Trade liberalization and trade policy obviously affect the internal distribution of economic activities within a liberalizing country. We show that the impact of decreasing international trade costs on the regional distribution of economic activities crucially depends on the value of transport costs in-ternal to the country. Trade liberalization in developing countries with poor internal infrastructures and small volumes of interregional trade is likely to increase regional disparities, while developed countries with good internal infrastructures and large volumes of interregional trade are likely to experience redispersion. We argue that the way transport and trade costs are modeled might have a crucial impact on the results obtained. / La libéralisation du commerce et la politique commerciale affectent manifestement la répartition interne de l'activité économique d'un pays. Nous montrons que l'impact d'une baisse des coûts d'échange sur la répartition régionale de l'activité économique dépend de manière cruciale de la valeur des coûts de transport à l'intérieur du pays. Tandis qu'une libéralisation dans les pays en voie de développement, caractérisés par de mauvaises infrastructures et de faibles volumes d'échanges interrégionaux, est susceptible d'accroître les inégalités régionales, cette même libéralisation dans les pays développés est susceptible de mener à une redispersion de l'activité. Nous montrons que la manière dont nous modélisons les coûts de transport et d'échange pourrait significativement influencer les résultats obtenus.

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Paper provided by LEG, Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne in its series LEG - Document de travail - Economie with number 2003-09.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lat:legeco:2003-09
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