Distance and Border Effects in Economics

Editor: T.Huw Edwards, Loughborough University, and Jan Van Hove, KU Leuven


The study of the economics of border and distance effects has developed steadily since Tinbergen (1962) introduced the notion of gravity into trade in an empirical way. Subsequent theoretical underpinnings by Anderson (1979), Bergstrand (1989) and Anderson and Van Wincoop (2003) have transformed this from a purely empirical approach into one which integrates econometrics and theory, while estimated or calibrated border and distance costs remain central to the study of global and regional integration, non-tariff barriers and the roles of legal, cultural, historical and sociopolitical ties in determining both trade and the transmission of economic growth internationally.

At the same time, more recent (following Melitz, 2003) empirical and theoretical work on fixed versus variable trade costs and the margins of trade have been extending our understanding of these effects, while, at the same time, parallels are emerging with the growing field of spatial econometrics.

This special issue brings together contributions related to distance and border effects in economics. Researchers are invited to submit theoretical, empirical or methodological papers. In particular, we welcome papers related to the following topics:

• The volume and values of bilateral trade
• Margins of trade
• Market competitiveness and firm competition
• The gains and costs of regional integration
• Trade, Innovation and technological spillovers
• Macroeconomic integration and convergence

Tinbergen, Jan (1962). Shaping the World Economy: Suggestions for an International Economic Policy, New York: The Twentieth Century Fund.

Anderson, James E. (1979). A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation. American Economic Review 69(1): 106–116.

Bergstrand, Jeffrey H. (1989). The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade. Review of Economics and Statistics 71(1): 143–153.

Anderson, James E. and Eric van Wincoop (2003). Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle. American Economic Review 93(1): 170–192.

Marc J. Melitz (2003). The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity. Econometrica 71(6): 1695–1725.



Finn Marten Körner and Hans-Michael Trautwein
Sovereign Credit Ratings and the Transnationalization of Finance – Evidence from a Gravity Model of Portfolio Investment
March 25, 2015 | downloads: 1410 | JEL: F41, F65, G11, G24
Biswajit Mandal
Distance, Production, Virtual Trade and Growth: A Note
January 06, 2015 | downloads: 2156 | JEL: F1 | 1 comment
José Luis Groizard, Helena Marques, and María Santana
Islands in Trade: Disentangling Distance from Border Effects
November 13, 2014 | downloads: 1353 | JEL: F15, C23 | 2 comments

Discussion Papers

Glenn Magerman, Zuzanna Studnicka, and Jan Van Hove
Distance and Border Effects in International Trade: A Comparison of Estimation Methods
December 17, 2015 | downloads: 252 | JEL: F10, F14 | discussible | 2 comments
Oleksandr Lugovskyy and Alexandre Skiba
Effect of Distance on Trade under Slope Heterogeneity and Cross-Correlated Effects
July 10, 2014 | downloads: 750 | JEL: F1, F6, R4 | discussible | 4 comments
Xin Liu
Size Effect, Neighbour Effect and Peripheral Effect in Cross-Border Tax Games
April 29, 2014 | downloads: 645 | JEL: H20, H71, H73, R51 | discussible | 2 comments