Laura Panza, 05 December 2020

Political disintegrations have the potential to cause large disturbances in international trade. This column investigates the effect of the breakup of the Ottoman Empire on commodity market integration in the Near East. Rising political and economic nationalism, tariff wars, and other protectionist practices prevailed over trade cost-reducing forces, leading to the disintegration of regional markets. At the same, new trade ties were created and colonial market linkages strengthened, despite the anti-global environment of the interwar era. However, the process of trade diversion reflected a shift from multilateralism to bilateralism.

Andreas Fuchs, Lennart Kaplan, Krisztina Kis-Katos, Sebastian S. Schmidt, Felix Turbanisch, Feicheng Wang, 16 September 2020

China assumed an important role during the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 as the main exporter of critical medical goods such as face masks and disinfectants. However, shipments of medical goods have been turned into propaganda campaigns by Chinese state media, raising the question if access to medical goods is granted upon political goodwill. This column uses official monthly trade data from Chinese Customs to investigate the emerging trade patterns, both for commercial exports and donations of medical goods. It shows that both existing trade linkages and political ties to Chinese provinces can help to attract Chinese medical goods.

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