Dennis Novy, Christopher Meissner, David Jacks, 16 August 2008

Analysts suggest that rising oil prices will sharply reduce international trade. This column argues to the contrary, noting that transport costs constitute a limited share of trade costs. Moreover, evidence from the first wave of globalisation suggests that higher shipping costs are unlikely to significantly dampen international commerce – only protectionism would seriously threaten trade.

Gabriel Felbermayr, Farid Toubal, 19 July 2008

This column introduces the use of Eurovision song contest scores as a measure of cultural proximity. Unlike other measures, such as common language or religion, Eurovision scores are asymmetric and time-varying, allowing estimates to distinguish between two potential channels through which cultural proximity might affect trade: trade costs and consumer preferences.

Gary Hufbauer, Dean DeRosa, 16 October 2007

Global tariff-cutting over the past decade was dominated by preferential trade agreements. These deals stimulate trade among members, but by creating tariff discrimination, they also divert trade from non-members. Recent research suggests that the majority of the world’s preferential deals created more trade than they diverted and so constitute a constructive force in the world economy.

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