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Once an enemy, forever an enemy? the long-run impact of the Japanese invasion of China from 1937 to 1945 on trade and investment

  • Che, Yi
  • Du, Julan
  • Lu, Yi
  • Tao, Zhigang

We are living in an increasingly globalized world yet with constant and endless conflicts among countries. While studies have uncovered the impacts of various economic factors and policy regimes on trade and investment, a much less understood issue is whether conflicts among countries have any, especially long-lasting, impacts on cross-border trade and investment. In this paper, we exploit one of the most important conflicts of the 20th century between what are currently the world's second and third largest economies, the Japanese invasion of China from 1937 to 1945, to investigate its long-run impact on contemporary trade and investment between the two countries. We find that Chinese regions that suffered more severe damage in the Japanese invasion are both less likely to trade with and trade less with Japan. Consistently, we also find that Japanese multinationals are less likely to invest in Chinese regions that suffered greater numbers of casualties during the Japanese invasion. Our study shows that historical animosity still matters for international trade and investment, despite the trend toward a flat world.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 38791.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38791
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