A Rather Empty World: The Many Faces of Distance and the Persistent Resistance to International Trade

Posted: 17 Mar 2009

See all articles by Gert-Jan Linders

Gert-Jan Linders

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employmen

Martijn J. Burger

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Frank G. van Oort

University of Utrecht

Date Written: November 2008

Abstract

Despite the rapid growth of world trade over the past several decades, international trade patterns remain very much affected by high trade costs. In this paper, we emphasize the importance of distance between countries in a proper explanation of the persistent resistance to trade. We find that both formal trade barriers (tariffs, transport costs, etc.) and informal trade barriers (related to cultural and institutional distances) between countries have retained their importance to trade. Not only are these tangible and intangible barriers critical in explaining the volume of trade between countries but they also help to explain the absence of trade between many countries.

Keywords: international trade, distance, trade barriers, F11, F12, F18

Suggested Citation

Linders, Gert-Jan and Burger, Martijn J. and van Oort, Frank, A Rather Empty World: The Many Faces of Distance and the Persistent Resistance to International Trade (November 2008). Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp. 439-458, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1361432 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cjres/rsn019

Gert-Jan Linders (Contact Author)

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employmen ( email )

Den Haag
Netherlands

Martijn J. Burger

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Frank Van Oort

University of Utrecht ( email )

Vredenburg 138
NL-3508 TC Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

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