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.



  • July 07, 2016 |
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  • JEL: F10, F14
  • March 25, 2015 |
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  • JEL: F41, F65, G11, G24
  • January 06, 2015 |
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  • JEL: F1
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José Luis Groizard, Helena Marques, and María Santana
Islands in Trade: Disentangling Distance from Border Effects
  • November 13, 2014 |
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  • JEL: F15, C23

Discussion Papers

  • July 10, 2014 |
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  • JEL: F1, F6, R4
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  • JEL: H20, H71, H73, R51
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