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The Gains from Economic Integration

Author

Listed:
  • Jose Rodriguez Mora

    (University of Edinburgh)

  • David Comerford

    (University of Stirling)

Abstract

This paper measures the effect of sharing a national state on the degree of trade integration. We call the causal effect of this political integration the economic integration - this is the additional trade integration gained by entities which come together to form a country rather being independent countries. The existence of very large border effects, even within the European Union, is well known, and is a consequence of this aforementioned economic integration achieved within national states. Nevertheless, these border effects are bound to overestimate the gains from sharing a state. This is because places which share larger affinities are more likely to both trade with each other and to select into sharing a state. This endogeneity therefore means that estimates of the average border effect overstate the reductions in trade frictions achieved by sharing a state. In this paper, we propose an alternative approach. We identify marginal regions (regions which could conceivably be independent countries by themselves) and marginal countries (countries that are the closest trading partner in the data to the country to which that marginal regions belong). We propose that the gap in trade frictions between these marginal regions and marginal countries is a much better estimate to the causal impact of state sharing. Despite controlling for selection bias, we find that the gains from economic integration are still substantial: it is about one third of the total gains from trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Rodriguez Mora & David Comerford, 2015. "The Gains from Economic Integration," 2015 Meeting Papers 569, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed015:569
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cletus C. Coughlin & Dennis Novy, 2013. "Is the International Border Effect Larger than the Domestic Border Effect? Evidence from US Trade," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(2), pages 249-276, June.
    2. A. Kerem Cosar & Paul L. E. Grieco & Felix Tintelnot, 2015. "Borders, Geography, and Oligopoly: Evidence from the Wind Turbine Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 623-637, July.
    3. Dennis Novy, 2013. "Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs With Panel Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 101-121, January.
    4. Paul Grieco & A. Kerem Cosar & Felix Tintelnot, 2014. "Borders, Geography and Oligopoly: Evidence from the Wind Turbine Industry," 2014 Meeting Papers 143, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Wyatt J. Brooks & Pau S. Pujolas, 2018. "Capital accumulation and the welfare gains from trade," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 66(2), pages 491-523, August.
    6. Atkin, David & Donaldson, Dave, 2015. "Who’s Getting Globalized? The Size and Implications of Intra-national Trade Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 10759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    8. Comerford, David & Rodríguez Mora, José Vicente, 2014. "Regions are not countries: a new approach to the border effect," CEPR Discussion Papers 9967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Keith Head & John Ries, 2001. "Increasing Returns versus National Product Differentiation as an Explanation for the Pattern of U.S.-Canada Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 858-876, September.
    10. Ebell, Monique & Hurst, Ian & Warren, James, 2016. "Modelling the long-run economic impact of leaving the European Union," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 196-209.
    11. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-116, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincenzo Galasso, 2020. "Market Reactions to Quest for Decentralization and Independence: Evidence from Catalonia," CESifo Working Paper Series 8254, CESifo.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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