Legal Costs as Barriers to Trade

33 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2006

See all articles by Alessandro Turrini

Alessandro Turrini

European Commission; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Tanguy Van Ypersele

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) - Research Group in Quantitative Saving (GREQAM); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

Recent evidence shows that the 'home bias puzzle' in international trade may be associated with the mere presence of national borders (McCallum (1995)). In this paper we provide a theoretical framework to explain why borders may matter so much for trade. Our argument is that even between perfectly integrated and similar countries the legal system differs, so that legal costs are higher when business is done abroad. Using a matching model of trade, we show that legal costs asymmetry produce home bias in an essentially different way than traditional trade costs. To estimate the relevance of legal costs in displacing trade we estimate gravity equations augmented with variables capturing the extent of legal asymmetries. Evidence from inter-national trade across OECD countries and intra-national trade across French support the view that legal asymmetries act as relevant obstacles to trade.

Keywords: Legal costs, matching, cross-border trade

JEL Classification: F12

Suggested Citation

Turrini, Alessandro and Van Ypersele, Tanguy, Legal Costs as Barriers to Trade (July 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5751. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=924895

Alessandro Turrini (Contact Author)

European Commission ( email )

Office BU-10/113
B-1049 Brussels
Belgium
+32 2 299 5072 (Phone)
+32 2 299 3505 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Tanguy Van Ypersele

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) - Research Group in Quantitative Saving (GREQAM) ( email )

Centre de la Vieille Charité
2 rue de la Charité
Marseille, 13002
France
+33 4 4293 5983 (Phone)
+33 4 4293 0968 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
23
Abstract Views
626
PlumX Metrics