Publication detail

Do Borders Really Slash Trade? A Meta Analysis

Author(s): doc. PhDr. Tomáš Havránek Ph.D.,
doc. PhDr. Zuzana Havránková Ph.D.,
Type: IES Working Papers
Year: 2015
Number: 3
ISSN / ISBN:
Published in: IES Working Papers 3/2015
Publishing place: Prague
Keywords: Bayesian model averaging, bilateral trade, borders, gravity, meta-analysis, publication selection bias
JEL codes: F14, F15
Suggested Citation: Havranek T., Irsova Z. (2015). “Do Borders Really Slash Trade ?” IES Working Paper 3/2015. IES FSV. Charles University.
Grants: GACR 15-02411S Development and Applications of Meta-Regression Methods in Economics
Abstract: National borders reduce trade, but most estimates of the border effect seem puzzlingly large. We show that major methodological innovations of the last decade combine to shrink the border effect to a one-third reduction in international trade flows worldwide. The border effect varies across regions: it is substantial in emerging countries, but relatively small in OECD countries. For the computation we collect 1,271 estimates of the border effect reported in 61 studies, codify 32 aspects of study design that may influence the estimates, and use Bayesian model averaging to take into account model uncertainty in meta-analysis. Our results suggest that methods systematically affect the estimated border effects. Espe- cially important is the level of aggregation, measurement of internal and external distance, control for multilateral resistance, and treatment of zero trade flows. We find no evidence of publication bias.
Downloadable: wp3_2015_havranek_irsova

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