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Measuring International Economic Integration: Theory and Evidence of Globalization


  • Arribas, Iván
  • Pérez, Francisco
  • Tortosa-Ausina, Emili


This article features a set of indicators designed to measure international economic integration and globalization. We analyze the degree of openness and the respective networks of connections---both direct and indirect---for each economy in our sample. Our indicators are based on network analysis techniques and the exchange of flows among world economies. Starting from four basic axioms of international economic integration, we define the Standard of Perfect International Integration, along with the set of indicators for degree of openness and connectedness, both for each specific economy and for the world economy as a whole. We apply our indicators to data on trade flows for 59 countries---accounting for 96.7% of world output---for the 1967--2004 period. According to our results, international economic integration is higher than what traditional degree of openness indicators suggest. The advance of globalization is unequal among countries because of the differing trends in their degree of openness and the differences in the intensity with which economies are connected to each other. Several economies now appear to be internationally integrated; however, the relatively low degree of openness in some of the largest economies jeopardizes the progress of globalization. We also perform some simulations which suggest that, should technological progress lead to an increase in indirect connections, the move towards greater international economic integration would accelerate.

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  • Arribas, Iván & Pérez, Francisco & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2006. "Measuring International Economic Integration: Theory and Evidence of Globalization," MPRA Paper 16010, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16010

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    Cited by:

    1. Arribas, Iván & Pérez, Francisco & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2008. "On the Dynamics of Globalization," MPRA Paper 16007, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2008.
    2. Bouët, Antoine & Cosnard, Lionel & Laborde Debucquet, David, 2017. "Measuring trade integration in Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 1667, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. David Matesanz Gomez & Guillermo J. Ortega & Benno Torgler, 2011. "Measuring globalization: A hierarchical network approach," CREMA Working Paper Series 2011-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Ekaterina Dorodnykh, 2013. "What Drives Stock Exchange Integration?," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH), Kavala, Greece, vol. 6(2), pages 47-79, September.
    5. David Matesanz Gomez & Benno Torgler & Guillermo J. Ortega, 2013. "Measuring Global Economic Interdependence: A Hierarchical Network Approach," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(12), pages 1632-1648, December.

    More about this item


    International Economic Integration; Globalization; International Trade; Network Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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