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Regional Business Cycles and National Economic Borders - What are the Effects of Trade in Developing Countries?


  • Christian Ariel Volpe Martincus


  • Andrea Molinari



Does trade lead to increased cross-country regional business cycle synchronization and reduced national economic borders? The theory does not really provide an unambiguous answer. Our paper addresses empirically this question using Argentina and Brazil as case studies of developing countries. These countries liberalized unilaterally trade since the mid-1980s and also established MERCOSUR (a regional integration agreement with Paraguay and Uruguay) in 1991. As a consequence, the intensity of trade between Argentina and Brazil rose significantly. The answer to the initial question is no. The increase in bilateral trade between Argentina and Brazil did not translate into significantly more synchronized regional business cycles. Using Gross Provincial Product for Argentina and Gross State Product for Brazil for the period 1961 to 2000, we find that within-country regional business cycle synchronization is substantially larger than cross-country regional business cycle synchronization. Moreover, this difference has increased over time. These results are mainly driven by ArgentinaÂ’s behavior and hold even after controlling for factors such as distance, size, sectoral specialization, and the degree of regional fiscal policy coordination. The empirical evidence based on Brazilian states and Argentina as a whole suggests that the higher level of trade among regions within a country is an important factor to that accounts for the observed border effect. In the case of Argentina additional factors such as monetary and exchange rate policies and large country-specific shocks have also played a significant role.

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  • Christian Ariel Volpe Martincus & Andrea Molinari, 2005. "Regional Business Cycles and National Economic Borders - What are the Effects of Trade in Developing Countries?," ERSA conference papers ersa05p93, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p93

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    Cited by:

    1. Túlio Cravo, 2011. "Are Small Firms more cyclically Sensitive than Large Ones? National, Regional and Sectoral Evidence from Brazil," ERSA conference papers ersa10p507, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Balli, Faruk & Rana, Faisal, 2015. "Determinants of risk sharing through remittances," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 107-116.
    3. Christian Volpe Martincus, 2010. "Spatial Effects Of Trade Policy: Evidence From Brazil," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 541-569.
    4. Faruk Balli & Faisal Rana, 2014. "Determinants of risk sharing through remittances: cross-country evidence," CAMA Working Papers 2014-12, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    5. Cravo, Túlio A., 2011. "Are small employers more cyclically sensitive? Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 754-769.
    6. Hasan Engin Duran, 2015. "Dynamics of Business Cycle Synchronization in Turkey," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 62(5), pages 581-606, December.
    7. Hasan Engin Duran, 2015. "Dynamics of Business Cycle Synchronization within Turkey," Working Papers 2015/01, Turkish Economic Association.
    8. Salá Rios, Mercé & Farré Perdiguer, Mariona & Torres Solé, Teresa, 2011. "El ciclo económico de Cataluña. Un análisis de la simetría respecto a España y a la UEM/Catalonia's Business Cycle. An Analysis of the Symmetry in Relation to Spain and the EMU," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 29, pages 913(24á.)-9, Diciembre.

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