Disintegration and trade flows : evidence from the Former Soviet Union
The authors study the effects of trade barriers and the persistence of past linkages on trade flows in the former Soviet Union. Estimating a gravity equation on trade among and between nine Russian regions and 14 former Soviet republics, they find that Russian regions traded 60 percent more with each other than with republics in the reform period (1994-96). By contrast, the Russian regions did not trade significantly more with each other than with republics in the pre-reform period (1987-90). The results suggest that the bias toward domestic trade in the reform period is primarily the result of tariffs. In addition, past linkages-such as infrastructure, business networks, and production and consumption chains-have limited the reorientation of trade.
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