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Ethnic Networks, Information, and International Trade: Revisiting the Evidence

Gabriel Felbermayr (), Benjamin Jung and Farid Toubal

No 306/2009, Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim from Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany

Abstract: Influential empirical work by Rauch and Trindade (REStat, 2002) finds that Chinese ethnic networks of the magnitude observed in Southeast Asia increase bilateral trade by at least 60%. We argue that this estimate is upward biased due to omitted variable bias. Moreover, it is partly related to a preference effect rather than to enforcement and/or the availability of information. Applying a theory-based gravity model to ethnicity data for 1980 and 1990, and focusing on pure network effects, we find that the Chinese network leads to a more modest amount of trade creation of about 15%. Using new data on bilateral stocks of migrants from the World Bank for the year of 2000, we extend the analysis to all potential ethnic networks. We find, i.a., evidence for a Polish, a Turkish, a Mexican, or an Indian network. While confirming the existence of a Chinese network, its trade creating potential is dwarfed by other ethnic networks.

Keywords: Gravity model; international trade; network effects; international migration. regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 F12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-int, nep-mig, nep-net, nep-sea and nep-soc
Date: 2009-01
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: Ethnic Networks, Information, and International Trade: Revisiting the Evidence (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Ethnic Networks, Information, and International Trade: Revisiting the Evidence (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Ethnic networks, information, and international trade: Revisiting the evidence (2009)
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