IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade

Listed author(s):
  • James E. Rauch
  • Vitor Trindade

Ethnic Chinese networks, as proxied by the product of ethnic Chinese population shares, are found in 1980 and 1990 to have increased bilateral trade both within Southeast Asia and for other country pairs. Their effects within Southeast Asia are much greater for differentiated than for homogeneous products, while for other country pairs their effects are neither economically nor statistically significantly different across commodity groups. We interpret these and other, complementary findings as showing that (1) where ethnic Chinese communities are relatively large fractions of their countries' populations and have relatively numerous direct connections across international borders, they facilitate international trade primarily by helping to match international buyers and sellers in characteristics space, and (2) ethnic Chinese communities that are small fractions of their countries' populations are close-knit and facilitate international trade mainly by enforcing community sanctions that deter opportunistic behavior. The smallest estimated increase in bilateral trade in differentiated products within Southeast Asia attributable to ethnic Chinese networks exceeds 150 percent, suggesting that the informal trade barriers these networks help to overcome are economically important.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7189.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 1999
Publication status: published as "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade" , Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 84 (February 2002): 116-130.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7189
Note: ITI
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7189. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.