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Internal Geography, International Trade, and Regional Specialization

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  • A. Kerem Coşar
  • Pablo D. Fajgelbaum

Abstract

We introduce an internal geography to the canonical model of international trade driven by comparative advantages to study the regional effects of external economic integration. The model features a dual-economy structure, in which locations near international gates specialize in export-oriented sectors while more distant locations do not trade with the rest of the world. The theory rationalizes patterns of specialization, employment, and relative incomes observed in developing countries that opened up to trade. We find regional specialization patterns consistent with the model in industry-level data from Chinese prefectures.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Kerem Coşar & Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2013. "Internal Geography, International Trade, and Regional Specialization," NBER Working Papers 19697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19697
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    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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