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Gravity approach for exploring Baltic Sea regional integration in the field of international trade

Tiiu Paas

No 180, HWWA Discussion Papers from Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA)

Abstract: The paper is inviting a reader to think to what extent we can use the knowledge resulting from laws of nature for exploring economic processes. In order to look for the answers on this question, the paper is going to explore international trade flows between the Baltic Sea region countries using a gravity approach. Attention is paid to analyzing forces that attract foreign trade flows and to exploring the influence of distance as an indicator that expresses both transportation costs and cultural proximity of the countries. The results of modeling support the statement that the size of economy has statistically significant and positive influence on the bilateral trade relations of the region. The influence of economic development level that is expressed by GDP per capita is statistically insignificant. In the case of the Baltic regional integration, distance is expressing most significantly cultural proximity and historical relationship between the countries. The regional integration effect in trade is inherently larger for small countries. Small economies in transition have to look for a regional niche to penetrate into the international market.

Keywords: International trade; gravity models; Baltic Sea region (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C10 F10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2002
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