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The gains from economic integration

Author

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  • Davod Comerford

    () (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

  • Jose V Rodriguez Mora

    (University of Edinburgh, School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper measures the effect of political integration, such as sharing a national state or economic union, on the degree of trade integration. Consistently with previous work, we find large border effects. However, such estimates may be biased and overestimate the effects of borders because of endogeneity: selection into sharing a political space is correlated with affinities for trade. We propose a method to address this and to estimate a causal effect. We then conduct speculative exercises showing the costs and benefits of the changing levels of integration associated with: the independence of Scotland, Catalonia and the Basque Country from the UK and Spain (but remaining within the European Union); the UK's exit from the EU; the break-up of the EU itself; and the achievement of frictions between members of the EU similar to those expected between regions of a single country. We find that the border effect between countries is an order of magnitude larger than the border effect associated with the European Union.

Suggested Citation

  • Davod Comerford & Jose V Rodriguez Mora, 2017. "The gains from economic integration," Working Papers 1715, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:1715
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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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    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

    Keywords

    Border effect; trade; independence;

    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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