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The Width of the Intra-European Economic Borders


  • Alain de Serres
  • Peter Hoeller
  • Christine de la Maisonneuve


This paper first provides a brief overview of the literature on market segmentation and then presents an empirical exercise that sheds more light on the significance of border effects across European countries. The literature suggests that integration in the EU goods and financial markets is typically more advanced than among the other OECD countries. On the other hand, integration in Europe remains significantly lower than that observed between regions within countries. The empirical exercise is based on a set of comparable price data of tradeable goods collected just before the launch of the single currency. The paper finds that for a given distance, crossing national borders adds significantly to the price differential across European cities. However, this border effect is substantially smaller than the one found in previous estimates focusing on European and North American cities, which were based on the comparison of much broader price indices such as the consumer price index ... Cette étude passe brièvement en revue la littérature traitant de la segmentation des marchés puis présente un exercice empirique qui examine la question de l’importance des effets frontière à travers les pays européens. Dans l’ensemble, les conclusions des diverses études portant sur la question semblent indiquer que l’intégration des marchés de biens et des marchés financiers européens est plus avancée qu’elle ne l’est généralement parmi les autres pays de l’OCDE. Par contre, l’intégration des marchés en Europe demeure sensiblement plus faible que celle observée entre les régions d’un même pays. L’exercice empirique présenté dans cette étude s’appuie sur un ensemble de données comparables de prix de biens échangeables recueillis dans un grand nombre de villes européennes à la veille du lancement de la monnaie unique. Les résultats obtenus mettent en évidence que pour une distance donnée, le fait de traverser les frontières nationales ajoute sensiblement à la différence de prix ...

Suggested Citation

  • Alain de Serres & Peter Hoeller & Christine de la Maisonneuve, 2001. "The Width of the Intra-European Economic Borders," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 304, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:304-en
    DOI: 10.1787/281117327340

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    Cited by:

    1. Salvador Gil-Pareja & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero, 2004. "Export market integration in the European Union," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 7, pages 271-301, November.
    2. Henrik Braconier & Mauro Pisu, 2013. "Road Connectivity and the Border Effect: Evidence from Europe," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1073, OECD Publishing.
    3. Patrick Messerlin, 2004. "Problems of transposition and Members States “screening” process and timetable," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8324, Sciences Po.
    4. Patrick Messerlin, 2006. "Europe after the 'no' votes : mapping a new economic path : thirty-fifth Wincott Lecture, 3 October 2005," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8309, Sciences Po.

    More about this item


    border effect; economic integration; effet frontière; European Union; intégration économique; Union européenne;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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