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Globalization and Political Structure

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  • Gino Gancia
  • Giacomo A.M. Ponzetto
  • Jaume Ventura

Abstract

This paper develops a theoretical framework to study the interaction between globalization and political structure. We show that political structure adapts in a non-monotonic way to technological progress that expands opportunities for global trade. Borders hamper trade. At an earlier stage, the political response to expanding trade opportunities consists of removing borders by increasing country size. At a later stage, however, the political response to expanding trade opportunities is to remove borders by creating international unions, and this leads to a reduction in country size. Moreover, negotiation replaces war as a tool to ensure market access. These predictions are consistent with historical evidence on trade, territorial expansion and war.

Suggested Citation

  • Gino Gancia & Giacomo A.M. Ponzetto & Jaume Ventura, 2016. "Globalization and Political Structure," NBER Working Papers 22046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22046
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    Cited by:

    1. Forslid, Rikard & Nyberg, Sten, 2017. "Brexit - balancing trade and mobility?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12370, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Gancia, Gino & Ponzetto, Giacomo A.M. & Ventura, Jaume, 2020. "A theory of economic unions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 107-127.
    3. Bonfatti, Roberto, 2017. "The sustainability of empire in a global perspective: The role of international trade patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 137-156.
    4. Arnorsson, Agust & Zoega, Gylfi, 2018. "On the causes of Brexit," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 301-323.
    5. Joan Esteban & Sabine Flamand & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2017. "The Survival and Demise of the State: A Dynamic Theory of Secession," Working Papers 609, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Joan Esteban & Sabine Flamand & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2018. "A Dynamic Theory of Secession," CESifo Working Paper Series 7257, CESifo.
    7. Suesse, Marvin, 2019. "Adjusting the size of nations: Empirical determinants of separatism and the Soviet breakup," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 50-64.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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