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Journal Articles Review of Economics and Statistics Year : 2008

The puzzling persistence of the distance effect on bilateral trade

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Anne-Célia Disdier

Abstract

One of the best-established empirical results in international economics is that bilateral trade decreases with distance. Although well known, this result has not been systematically analyzed before. We examine 1,467 distance effects estimated in 103 papers. Information collected on each estimate allows us to test hypotheses about the causes of variation in the estimates. Our most interesting finding is that the estimated negative impact of distance on trade rose around the middle of the century and has remained persistently high since then. This result holds even after controlling for many important differences in samples and methods.
L’impact négatif de la distance sur le commerce bilatéral constitue l’un des résultats empiriques les plus robustes en économie internationale. Bien que connu, ce résultat n’a cependant fait l’objet d’aucune analyse systématique. Les auteurs examinent 1 467 effets distance estimés dans 103 articles de recherche. Les informations collectées pour chaque coefficient permettent de tester différentes hypothèses sur les causes de variation de ces effets distance entre les études. L’analyse montre que l’impact négatif de la distance sur le commerce a cru vers le milieu du 20e siècle et est resté élevé depuis.

Dates and versions

hal-01172854 , version 1 (07-07-2015)

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Anne-Célia Disdier, Keith Head. The puzzling persistence of the distance effect on bilateral trade. Review of Economics and Statistics, 2008, 90 (1), pp.37-41. ⟨10.1162/rest.90.1.37⟩. ⟨hal-01172854⟩
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